Found in 1 comment on Hacker News
cpr · 2011-06-04 · Original thread has your answer. (Though it looks like his site is down right now--odd. Google "john gatto" and you'll find lots of other materials.) Gatto was NY State Teacher of the year in 1990, and worked miracles with kids for 30 years in New York City, before giving up in disgust with the whole system.

Compulsory public education was invented by social engineers who wanted to control and command the teeming masses and make them pliant workers in their mills and plants. The folks who backed early mass education were the robber barons. (This is well documented by Gatto.)

The real point of public education is to dumb everyone down to the same level and beat any initiative or intellectual curiosity out of them. (See "Dumbing Us Down" by Gatto.) Oddly, some kids escape, most of them by learning on their own (as you've done).

Taylor's main book on the subject, which is great on a whole bunch of levels, is:

(check some of the reviews for others' takes).

Also see some of Paul Graham's essays, which are strongly related: (What You'd Wish You'd Known) (Why Nerds are Unpopular)

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.