There's this idea that, with additional data, we can make schools better. This makes some sense, I mean, how do you know which parts work and which parts don't without data? It's also mostly horseshit.

Really what we're talking about here is systems design. You want to strongly align a system with some specific preferences? Good for you. But (and I don't want to shock you) parents want different things for their kids. And I don't mean, different parents want different things (although they do and that's important). I mean, my elder brother went to an arts high school that would have driven me insane (although, I admit, I probably would have been happier), while I was receiving a marginally more technical education focusing on mathematics at a different institution.

When you look at a system and see many people want many different things out of it, what terrible mishandling of your non-prescription Adderall leads you to think we ought to standardize it? This demand for order in a complex world legitimately confuses me.

When you have diverse preferences, basically the only tool we have that works even slightly is a free market. Making it work optimally is sure to be hard (because, again, optimal for whom), but it's gotta start somewhere.

Related aside: People in America are massively over-investing in education, and not just post-secondary. I see little benefit in universal education in America beyond perhaps 5th grade. People certainly don't retain it – have you met a single 30 year old who could solve a quadratic equation without needing the skill for their work (or pleasure)? If there is value is teaching people things they are doomed to forget before they could be useful, it is a marginal enough value that I wouldn't make it mandatory under threat of legal punishment. If we think people ought to be curious, and decide that preference should be enforced by law, but shouldn't be bounded by practical concerns like wasting years of your life, will we start imprisoning people for ignoring clickbait?