2) In large part due to my first point, schools are no longer about providing students with an education. They are about creating good corporate citizens. Think about your average salaried office employee. They have a college degree (though their job duties may not actually require advanced education); they complete a lot of tedious, repetitive tasks; they are expected to adhere to arbitrary rules regarding appearance, demeanor, etc.; they are expected to spend their day quietly sitting in a chair at specified times; and work outside these times is both expected and not compensated. Unquestioning obedience to superiors is a fundamental expectation. Meaningless or minor rewards are used to incentivize employee compliance- small raises, the occasional promotion, “employee of the month” or other public recognition.
Any resemblance to your average school day is not coincidental. Schools now are actively teaching students how to behave well while performing unexciting work, and to be obedient to the authorities who assign this work without questioning the purpose or value of the work. Grades- which have no real purpose and do not accurately measure student progress- are transformed into a gatekeeping device in order to incentivize compliance and learning
Unfortunately, our Hidden Contract allows what is seemingly a good day teaching to mask an authentic deficit in student understanding.