Unhappily, I didn't read the article you mentioned, but that won't stop me from replying to your posting!
I blame permissive education for the failure. I got a great public school education in the sixies & early seventies. We were required to read aloud in class starting in first grade, everyone learned to read & was required to read outside material & report on it in class. We had a concentrated math program. No calculators allowed, you memorized multiplication tables, algebra was required in 7th grade. Even tho I've never used my algebra, I can add, subtract, multiply & divide withiut technological support, that's more than I can say for most cashiers. We were also required to study a forgein language & world history, art music & science. There were no elective classes until basic requirements had been filled. Everyone had to be on campus & accountable from 8:15 to 3:15, no exceptions. Teachers were respected and dicipline was expected if people didn't behave accordingly. My long winded point is; permissive behavior & politically correct rhetoric have done this country no favors. There are basic things that need to be learned in school in order to give our society a chance at being on the cutting edge scientifically, intellectually, technologically. There are certain things that everybody has aright to learn in order to give our society a common ground, common reference. I'm not suggesting that Spanish or Asian speaking people or any people for that matter give up their language or culture. I am mearly stating what to me is obvious. Our kids can't read or do math. They don't know anything about history. An ignorant people are easier to controll than a well educated populace who can think and extrapolate for themselves. The cultural revolution of the 60's took place largely on college campuses, what does that tell you?
One other point, you said you didn't think money was the problem. Chicago public schools, case in point. Money is a necessary evil, physical infrastructure, textbook purchase, computer purchase, internet access, to say nothing of staff & teacher salaries all cost more than the school systems have? Important questions to ask: What motivation do people have to teach? Why are the people responsible for molding future generations (teachers, parents, child care workers) given so little support? Wouldn't you think the corporations who will need these future workers would take more of an interest in their developement? Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but I am a very passionate person. Thankyou, Lizzy G