I agree that it is better for society if we teach these things, and that people need to learn them. Not everyone needs to know how to do a complex tax return or be a CPA, but they should have a basic understanding of the fundamentals.
All that said, I never took a class for any of this. I didn't need to. Not because I came out of the womb fully formed, but because I am a curious person who wants to learn and improve myself. I got books, used the internet, and figured it out.
What's pathetic is not that children need to learn these things, but that so few have bothered to self-teach anything of import. Why don't we have a culture of learning? Why are so few financially responsible? Why do kids graduate highschool with iPhones, iPods, iPads, and laptops, yet no savings accounts? Why is it socially acceptable for a 20-something to be unable to cook, clean, do laundry, or maintain a budget?
I won't say whether past generations were better. But I will say that ours should be.