I believe your basic premise but I disagree strongly with your 2 main obstacles to success. I believe the 1st obstacle is bad parenting. When a child doesn't even know the ABC's or how to write his first name when he enters kindergarten I wonder, what has a parent been doing for the first five years of their child's life? I understand there are those who are developmentally challenged but I also see parents who never read their child a bedtime story or know how to turn the TV off. Its their job to teach values that the schools spend time on when they should be focusing on the 3 R's. There are schools that excel. Use a tried and true curriculum and we'll see results like we used to have.