I'm not sure if there's a good alternative, though. Homeschooling ? How many parents have the aptitude, time and interest in doing it right ? Done badly, it could easily result in worse outcomes than normal schooling. And yet, it could avoid the poisonous socialisation that goes on in so many schools. I've read suggestions in a number of places that we should do away with age grouping, which sounds simply sensible to me. Not all kids of the same age learn at the same rate, or play well togehter, and yet we shove them in to a system which pretends that they do (and generally caters badly for those who are slower or faster than average). Also, mingling kids of different ages might break up some of the worst clique-forming and social exclusion that goes on.
(I should think about this more, research more, and write this post more clearly ... but it's late, I'm tired, and I want to post it now, so ... over to you)
Any thoughts ?