Perhaps I need to revisit the clarity of my thesis, because I’m not exactly saying that there is a deliberation here, only that the model of high school is an echo of the liberal arts university, not the factory. I love Sir Ken Robinson, and have watched his TED talks a dozen times, and agree that we very much need to shift our focus. But I would still argue that it’s not the factory that schools take their guidance from, it’s the college professors who train the teachers, and the college environment that the teachers emulate.
As to the absence of rigid uniformity, tight order, and predictable structure at the college level, I think you and I are looking at the University through very different lenses. And if the factory design intent wasn’t initially a design feature meant to advance college admissions, it’s hard to argue that today’s high schools are not almost exclusively motivated by that very ambition (much less intention).