I could certainly stand to lose a bit of the snarkiness; I am about to start a job among engineers. You should probably review basic circuits though, because you are still misunderstanding something:
If you have a 12V battery, and a 12V bulb in series, you have a simple series circuit that works; but adding 3 more bulbs of the same type in parallel won't work (contrary to what the text taught) because now each of the four loads (bulbs) are only seeing 3 volts.
Parallel components have the same voltage difference applied across them. Adding a bulb to another in parallel will not affect the brightness of the original bulb (as long as the current is still low enough to consider the battery ideal). Both bulbs are as bright as the original bulb, and the battery is supplying to each branch the current it supplied to the original lone bulb. Adding 3 bulbs in parallel just adds additional bulbs that draw the same power as the original, and increases the total current (and power) drawn from the battery by 300%.
Adding the bulbs in series does what you describe. Perhaps that is what you are miscommunicating.
I checked through the first couple of google results until I found a good reference for you. Everything here is correct.
I only call this out because you criticize "teach the test" type education, which I do as well for good reason, but then you ironically illustrate one of the largest failures of this type of education. It breeds people who are very confident in an only partial understanding. To stick to my earlier example, it creates the sort of students who might take a lot of pride in correcting you about the start date of the civil war without even knowing what events started it.
Series and parallel circuits are very different, but there are superficial symmetries between the currents of one and the voltage drops of the other, and people often use these to remember the phenomenological behavior. It's the easiest way for most people to get a B on the relevant test. Doing it that way is not understanding; it is rote memorization, and can leave people susceptible to confusing two things that are very different.