So who do you think IS the problem because there clearly is a problem? In recent years, I have encountered teens who not only couldn’t do the math 200+8-158=150 but others who couldn’t read a watch (with hands, not digital numbers) or find any country you care to mention on a map.
I have encountered a number of contributary issues:
– Teachers unions who value job security for teachers above competence;
– The widespread notion in minority teen circles that doing well in school is "uncool" or, dare I say it, "white" and therefore to be scorned;
– The "progressive" notion that a high school diploma is a right, not something you must earn, which leads them to scream bloody murder when large numbers of uneducated kids can’t pass state tests required for graduation–and demands for them to graduate anyway (thus cheapening the value of the diploma for the kids who did earn it);
– The "everybody gets a prize" or the "everybody is special" mentality that teaches kids they deserve the best and have to work for nothing.