Unless we want to re-invent the wheel over and over, it's necessary that people have a basic understanding of the work that has been done in the past.
The problem isn't how hard it is to memorize facts. The human brain is capable of memorizing a lot of facts. The problem is that (US specifically) kids are just too lazy to do it. They have the ability, but not the desire. (Source: My wife is a high school science teacher of 30 years).
Let's address the real issue and stop trying to give participation trophies.