I thought I would start this thread to start a discussion on education (primarily state school education).
My view of education is that state schools work like a filter, filtering out not by ability (as is the accepted view), nor by privilege (that is what private schools are for), but primarily by determination. Those who are determined enough to make it through school with decent exam results can, if they want, then go on to the next stage of the filtering process at university (which filters by ideology, and gives smart people useful or safe things to do). Those who don't make it though the filter tend to end up with a strong disklike of learning, and have therefore been intellectually castrated.
The way this works is to make learning as difficult and as unpalatable as possible. Lessons are boring, regimented, and repetitive. Languages are usually taught at an age when the natural, effortless ability to learn languages has been lost. Though corporal punishment was abolished, bullying seems to have taken over as an unofficial alternative, and has the added advantage of keeping teachers in their place as well.
Just some thoughts I've been having, and thought I'd share.