A friend directed me to this post, and here is what I have to say. The best decision I ever made was to quit high school when I was fifteen. I read Grace Llewellyn's "The Teenage Liberation Handbook" and, despite it being written a little simply, the ideas resonated with me. Compulsory schooling is about control, busy work, and, as Foucault points out, a type of discipline based on the penal system. School made me view education as an abominable chore, and it was only once I left that I was able to begin exploring academic disciplines in a comprehensive and meaningful way. If you love erudition for its own sake (as I truly believe most people are prone to do--it's only after years of schooling that we eschew the notion of pleasurable learning experiences), you have what it takes to educate yourself.
I recovered from the trauma of compulsory school, and I am now a college honors student with a 4.0 GPA. While there are still serious problems regarding "education" in the world of academia, college is significantly better than high school. A GED, well written essays, and outstanding SAT/ACT scores will get you into some of the most prestigious institutions without a diploma. Most people think that you have to be miserable for the next few years because they were forced to be miserable and they think it's the only way to find success in the future. I believe that they are entirely wrong about that. Research "unschooling", Paolo Freire, and Summerhill school and decide for yourself.