I was just thinking about this: I used to hate school, but it was more in the elementary ages where I had a massive disdain for it (around 5-7 years old). I couldn't stand anything, from when my teacher in kindergarten would take my arm and show me the "right" way to write to 30 minutes of nap time (I hated nap time). I had gone to the school psychiatrist everyday like something was really wrong with me because I had some kind of conformity problem which they diagnosed as ADD. My mom was a teacher for a long time and I used to think back then how I wish I was home schooled. It had taken me a long while to adjust to the point of going and staying in school, a good 3 years.
From then on, I didn't harbor a disdain for school but I just downgraded my dislike. Like Mad and knapp, I didn't like that school was going at a slow pace and I hated favoritism. There was a gifted program back then that was supposedly more challenging and for the life of me, I couldn't understand why I was snubbed out of it. I was really frustrated that I had to be held back because everyone else had to catch up, knowing back then I still had talent that needed to be developed.
Then things started to turn around when I was in 8th grade. There was an awesome Technology Lab program that only a handful could qualify for. Basically, it was a hands-on program with robotics, desktop publishing, mechanical engineering, lasers, flight simulators, Internet, and even a module for programming (this was in the mid-90's). So, I spent most of my 7th grade just to up my grades, doing it easily, and looking forward to the challenge. I really loved the program because learning just wasn't textbook anymore, it was actually doing things that I loved or really learned to love. This really encouraged me to go to a special high school, called the California Academy of Math & Science, but my mom as liberal as she was in the way I paced myself, sent to me a Catholic school. She had no faith in public education anymore and sent me to a Catholic high school, especially when I got into a lot of trouble (I was in a lot of fights in middle school). This upset me.
High school felt like revisiting the same old grind to me yet again despite taking honors and AP courses. I liked high school as a whole, but from an academic standpoint, I was a bit disenchanted. For example, in hindsight, I wished all of my high school science classes had a heavier dose of high-level math much like the college courses do. I didn't study hard either but then I owed it to myself and my parents (especially my mom) that I actually gave it a good faith effort, in doing the homework and whatever was required. I couldn't let them down, but interestingly enough even though I graduated summa cum laude, I felt like an underachiever out of high school because I didn't do my complete best. Once more, I felt like I was an underachiever because I didn't meet the kinds of lofty expectations I had on my projects that were above and beyond school.
College was what I thought it'd be: a lot more open, more hands-on, not as restrictive. The problem I had with college is that I would've focused starting on my business within the 4 years, but again, I felt like I couldn't let down my parents, sucked it up eventually, and earned my dual degrees. Thing is, I sometimes felt like I wouldn't have failed so many times in launching my business had I not devoted more time to school. I regretted it once, but I don't regret it now that I'm here; it was what it was.
I think the problem with the education system - and it's one that's going to be hard to remove for all kinds of reasons - is exactly what knapp said, school is an assembly line. What I think our school system should be teaching our kids is things like financial education, entrepreneurship, and more mathematics at an earlier age. I just believe that the education system is set in place just to keep young people in line, to groom them as the next generation of robots, for lack of a better term. There are no alternatives and so, I think finding the creme de la creme of the rest is best, granted you have the deep pockets for it.