As a teacher myself, I think that part of the reason that education continues to emphasize filling up the day with time-bound activities, accepting assignments, obsessing over scores, and sitting still is that it’s easy for us teachers, and for the administrators who employ us.
It’s like the joke about the man looking around on the ground at night under a streetlight. Another man approached him and asked what he was doing, and the first man said, “I’m looking for my lost keys.” The second man offered to help and asked, “Where did you last see them?” The first man pointed away to an area where he hadn’t been looking. The second man asked, “Why are you looking here if you last saw your keys over there?” The first man replied, “Because there’s light here.” We tend to do what’s easy — what’s feasible — even if it’s not the most effective.
That said, your list of five places to target — focusing on actually getting things done — is very good.