Then as an educator you should know what the real problem is. It breaks down to 3:
1. Localized school boards more interested in political gains than education. They are busy trying to maintain their kingdoms that they have built and trying to expand it.That leads to differing results from community to community.
2. Changes in laws such as No Child Left Behind (an Orwellian title if ever there was one) mandating that teacher retention be tied to student performance has made it necessary for self preservation for teachers to teach to the tests. Add in dwindling budgets and anything not directly related to those tests gets cut from the curriculum. Many primary schools have dropped music, art and classics from their teaching programs all together.
3. Lack of parental involvement in their children's education. This may be one of the most important reasons that education is failing in the US. With both parents needing to work just to make ends meet because the average income level has declined while costs have increased, it makes it difficult for parents to spend the proper amount of time with their kids education.
Until these issues are addressed, we will continue to see a decline in education in the US.