I agree with the responses, and you don’t have to go to the far east to see how being a disobedient worker doesn’t pay off. I grew up in Northern California in a good neighborhood. I had a few privileged, middle class friends that “bucked” the high school system and got C averages, even though they were incredibly smart. One of them even transferred to Cornell after going to junior college and is doing very well.
On the flipside, my travel basketball team, comprised of many underprivileged kids from schools in Oakland, did not have the option of “bucking” the high school system only to have their parents bail them out as they got their act together in college. They had to use this system to get good grades, many got scholarships to good colleges and graduated.
What the main article forgets is that doing well in school is likely the only path lower middle class (and below) children have to a more secure future. A bunch of “innovators” making useless apps for smartphones is not going to help or inspire the child (white, black, latino, asian) that is in a crap public school and simply looking for a path to not live paycheck to paycheck.
Lastly, while I agree there needs to be a shift in how we educate our youth, to generalize A and B students as drones and C students as creative is short-sighted. I don’t know where you went to high school or college, but I went from public school California, to Ivy League college, to HBCU for law school, and those “buckets” didn’t match 50% of the people I encountered. If you’re smart, you find a way to get As and Bs. It’s not about vanity or proving something to someone else. Most of the time, it’s simply about being efficient.