Schools were created to pass the knowledge to a selective few, that did not need to work for a living all day.
Then the school system expended, as to include everybody and teach everybody the basic arithmetic and reading. So they would be able to use the written knowledge, like the magazines, and improve their work.
The industrial revolution came, and the people started to work in a factories, instead of a small shops. Based on the unemployment, the schooling time got longer and longer.
But none of these reasons really apply to the situation these days. Sure, we still need to teach the people to read and write and basic arithmetic. We can archive that in two years, even for the slow students.
After they learn these basic skills, why do we still insist for them to be trained for the factory work? Because, let be honest here, the timetables teaches order and obedience, and the number of years of required studying is the reflection of the unemployment rates in the past.
What if instead, we give the students, our kids, the ability to learn whatever they want. To improve the skills, that they find interesting. To do projects, that they have curiosity for. Because the children do not need passion, only curiosity and they will start and learn a lot.
While logistically a harder project, I think that in this case the pros outweighs the cons. People will end up more willing to learn new things, they will know how to learn new skills and they will have better organizational skills.
Or am I missing something?