Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and many other super achievers never finished grade school. They succeeded because they knew how to research, collect information for a selected project and process knowledge. Classroom environment does not work that way, it focuses on the collection of knowledge without a clear purpose, other than high-class grades.
If the purpose does not motivate, other than to please the teacher, then there is nothing to process outside of memorizing answers for test. The typical student is academic challenged while being motivation starved. Lack of motivation is lack of knowledge processing skills. The typical college graduate will have a professional skill that supplies life’s basic needs, that’s all.
What is education? The answer is, all elements in the opening paragraph and more, relate to education and all should be considered. This would be ideal and sounds good, but "all" is not possible where performance must be measured. Only what can be measured will be selected and the measuring tool is the written test.
Anyone who does not have the ability to put clear thoughts on paper is labeled a failure. All natural skills, including knowledge processing, does not count. The fact is, what is exercised grows stronger, what is ignored stays dormant. The classroom exercises the collection of academics leaving all other natural skills in the closet.
Link: What is education