IAAMT, last year 8th grade at a high minority pop, low income school. This next year I'll be teaching Algebra 1 at a high school. I agree with many of the points in Lockhart's article, with the primary exception being that this problem isn't already being addressed by some in education.
Math has been gutted of meaning, but this is changing. There are solid curricula out there that are being used, such as IMP ( the Interactive Math Program) or PBL (Project/Problem Based Learning) style lessons. An example of PBL that I used last year with my 8th graders was in modeling a bride. They were given a plausible scenario (school buildings are getting a 2nd story added on to reduce the number of portable classrooms, they had to design and model a bridge between these 2nd stories.) So, we went out and measured distances, built newpaper bridges and tested how much weight they could hold to find relationships for thickness v. load and length v. load, calculated needed load support based on population, class flow, 8th grader mass, etc., graphed some data in Excel, and used their formula and data to built a cost-optimized bridge. They had fun exploring some rich problems (and some frustration, as it did require some thought) and gained a better grasp of linear relationships, a key concept in 8th grade.
This type of teaching isn't widespread, but it was being advocated by my college advisers.
One of the problems with doing this kind of math is the lack of public support. In the school district I'm in, about half the high schools were giving an option to use IMP to students, but parents complained and such, and now only a few charter schools use it. Still, support is starting to spread some, so the more interesting approaches are being slowly revived.
For those interested in this topic, check out What's math got to do with it?" by Jo Boaler (new edition out later this month.)