Jonathan Kozol, way back in his first or second book, in the ’60s, noted that that those who believe USA schools are failures do not understand the true purpose of the schools. American schools function to ensure that as few children as humanly possible are able to escape the socio-economic niches for which they were born.
The true purpose of schooling in America is to imbue students with ‘virtues’ of obedience and passivity, while uprooting as completely as possible any inclination toward critique, skepticism or even mild curiosity.
As another noted education scholar, Joel Spring, put it (albeit somewhat harshly or indelicately) around the same time, USA schools are part of a national sorting system by which children are assessed according to their abilities to meet the needs of elites for manpower.
There’s a world of literature about ‘drop-outs’, but that term blames the victim.