I agree completely.Skip school and assist. Work your ass off, save your money, and learn how to deal with people and run a business. Degrees in photography are worthless unless you intend to teach and/or write/edit. People who will hire you to do professional photography don't give a rat's ass about your schooling. They only care about your portfolio, your work ethic, and your professionalism. The 4+ years you would spend in school are going to be nothing but a loss of time in the end, if you really intend to simply be a professional photographer.
This being said, having a degree never really hurts, and always inching toward it (maybe one or two classes at a time) may be worthwhile if professional photography doesn't work out in the end after all.
...but if you are 100% certain that all you are going to do is to work as a professional photographer, then spending time in school is a liability (i.e. a 4+ year vacuum of time, money, and lack of experience), not an asset.