I agree with Mr Happy and his opinion that the powers that be don't give a hoot about public education.
But also, many suggest it is the teaching methods that are being used at present, but not being a teacher I can't comment on that. What I can say is that, I've received hundreds of application forms from youngsters looking for a job. Within those hundreds, I can gurantee, without exaggeration, that there is about 30% that are written in good English - spelling, grammar, punctuation etc. The rest are shocking. If I didn't know better I would honestly have thought that some of the forms had been written by a 7 year old! So something has and is going badly amiss with our standards of education. I also think, in the UK at least, there is too much of a softly, softly approach in schools that obviously just makes a lot of kids think the school is joke and not to be taken seriously. Doesn't make the teacher's job any easier.
In addition though there are other worrying trends especially in primary schools, (UK). We have had headlines here over the past 2 days about kids as young as 4 and 5 assaulting teachers at school with objects such as bricks! But when you think about it, the whole of society at present is going nuts - no discipline, no self-respect, no moral codes - or very little. Money is god and nothing else matters - and this includes things such as education.