Contemporary (circa 2007) education is failing in three blatant ways:
A Public Declaration Of Ignorance
On Saturday November 11th, 2000, the Brisbane paper The Courier-Mail reported that a Harvard history student did not know that there had been two world wars. In an article titled "History lost in the past" journalist Peter Charlton claimed that in answer to a question posed by distinguished historian Simon Schama to his history seminar about the different foreign policy of Italy in World War I and World War II, one student replied:
"Was there more than one world war last century?"
An answer that contradicts any claim of historical education about the twentieth century, as well as revealing an inability to perform simple arithmetic. The nature of the two world wars has so dominated the twentieth century, that not to know there were two world wars is not to know twentieth century history. While claiming in the year 2000 that the years 1914-1918, or 1939-1946, belonged to the last century, is to expose an inability to perform simple arithmetic. Either error contradicts the notion that this student has been educated, while the student's presence in a prestigious American university that demands an entrance exam, must raise grave doubts about the integrity of the American education system.
The enormity of the student error raises doubt about the quality of education, and this suspicion is confirmed by the large number of works condemning the abysmal state of the education system in the western world.
Competent Workers Disappearing
And by the year 2016 employers are finding it difficult to recruit literate staff who can do simple sums.