While the physical space of the urban school is often understood to serve as preparation for factory work, with the rise of a deindustrialized economy it can be argued that students are being prepared instead for the enclosed space of the prison.
"The hidden curriculum is generally understood as the process by which daily exposure to school expectations and routines transmits norms and values of the dominant society to students. We argue that in the present the hidden curriculum no longer simply prepares students for work. Through both teaching and disciplinary practices it strives as well to injure and demoralize students by restructuring the school day as a sequence of low-intensity pedagogical assaults. In this way, the hidden curriculum anticipates the conditions of domination and abjection that students will encounter not only in the workplace or in prison proper, but also in social life generally." Doing School Time: The Hidden Curriculum Goes to Prison, José García and Noah De Lissovoy. (PDF)
My 5-year-old recognized this before I did, during his single week in kindergarten. So thankful he resisted with all his being.