The modern system of education is primarily designed on the factory model created at the turn of the 20th Century. With so many children in cities like New York in need of education, it was a practical choice for the time. Now, though, the system of factory-like education becomes a crippling force for creativity because everything is taught to standardized tests and imposed state (soon to be national) standards of what it means to be "educated". The system does not encourage students to think outside the box and there is rarely a mechanism for them to do so, and teachers who think outside the box have little motivation or reward. (And don't even get me started on the teachers union.)
This in mind, I've recently picked up the book Out of Our Minds by Ken Robinson. I'm sure there will be many essays in the making as I read more of the book, but for now, feast your eyes on this RSA Animate called "Changing Education Paradigms" that gives you a small piece of the informational pie Robinson has to offer. I find his points very interesting and thought provoking.
NOTE: The first clip has lots of cool animation and is nice and short but mostly discusses the problems without posing solutions. You can find the solutions he suggests in the book, or by watching the full version of the original speech.