Originally Posted by odiakkoh
Deary is an outspoken critic of schools, which he believes serve no function above keeping children off the street. Deary has commented: "I've no interest in schools. They have no relevance in the 21st century. They were a Victorian idea to get kids off the street. Who decided that putting 30 kids with only their age in common in a classroom with one teacher was the best way of educating? At my school there were 52 kids in the class and all I learned was how to pass the 11-plus. Testing is the death of education. Kids should leave school at 11 and go to work. Not down the mines or up chimneys, mind, but working with computers or something relevant. Everything I learned after 11 was a waste of time. Trigonometry, Boyle's law: it's never been of any use to me. They should have been teaching me the life skills I was going to need, such as building relationships, parenting and managing money. I didn't have a clue about any of these things at 18. Schools need to change." 
I don't think anyone with any sense should take him seriously. I for one will be boycotting his books.
You read kid's books?
I think what you just quoted makes a lot of sense.
The warehousing function of schools is obvious in some places, particularly where there are lots of poor minorities. (Read: Chicago, where I live.) Testing results in teaching how to take tests. Head Start starts failing at about the 3rd grade - why should that be? And don't get me started on the anti-boys bias of the public school system.
The last time I used Trig was in Trig class. At this point, I'd have to google it to remember what the hell it actually is. (Bear in mind that my math SAT, 50 years ago when the SAT was hard, was over 750 - I could do it, but so what?)
Schools, and libraries, are like the railroad system. They work in some places for some purposes, but on the whole, they are artifacts of a prior world, propped up by public subsidies and increasingly failing at their past purposes - even the warehousing function. The libraries are trying desperately to gin up new functions - which seem to mainly involve providing free internet access for the impoverished. The schools seem to be run to provide posh jobs for educational bureaucrats.
I don't mean to put down librarians and teachers - I have teachers in my family & would have loved to have been a librarian myself. But the institutions they work in are dying at every level, because they no longer have the purpose they were designed for, and are having trouble repurposing.