In an article titled, “Schools are for showing off, not for learning,” Psychology Today seems to come out in favor of schools like ours:
If schools were for learning rather than showing off, we would design them entirely differently. They would be places where people could follow their own interests, learn what they wanted to learn, try out various career paths, prepare themselves for the futures that they wanted. Everyone would be doing different things, at different times, so there would be no basis for comparison.
(Thanks to Betsy Shaw for forwarding the article our way)