As a high school social studies teacher in the area I have to disagree with you. At this point in my career I have taught 9-12th grade as well as regents, honors, AP, and other college level courses. Claims, evidence and reasoning is drilled into them during middle school, sometimes it sticks and other times it doesn’t. We continue and elevate that at the high school level with a focus on analysis. Some really get it and it is apparent with where they continue their education. I would say that social promotion is an issue and there is a small percentage of students who are being pushed through. On a side note if we are talking about issues with our education system we should point out how many colleges have become predatory institutions that accept anyone and charge absurd tuition to students that should not be there. Sign the dotted line and you can get yourself 60k a year on a variable interest rate. There are many students that are much better suited for vocational schools but are being told that a bachelors is the only way to go. Many of my wealthiest friends own their own plumbing or electrical business. This issue here isn’t the students. There are still tons of bright, talented, hard working students! .