I think there is an interesting point to be gleaned from acb's statement above. Highschool prepared/s us for the modern industrial society - which is the source of our public schools system. Highschools, last time I checked, is doing a mediocre to terrible job of preparing us for the information economy (sorry about the overused cliche, but it need to be there).
Highschool sucked, in university it got better. The 'real world' (as much as I'm in it) got even better.