A good point, very well said. The USA's educational system is doubleplusfar from perfect, but I firmly believe that if someone doesn't want to learn, no environment will help. If they do, they'll pick it up.
My brother's ex-wife a brilliant engineer, thou I haven't had the pleasure (or horror, sometimes?) of meeting as many engineers as I could've. She's one of 3 or 4 people I've been able to have a honest, detailed, tech-type conversations with. And I'm fairly sure she never had special classes to learn, beyond what she chose to sign up for in collage and such.