Once upon a time, women had few options of employment. Around the 1960's the question was always, "Are you a nurse or a teacher?" Most of the best and brightest of my college class (women's college) became teachers either at the secondary or elementary level. More than half of those continued teaching until retirement.
But with the feminist movement and more fields of endeavor open to women, the best and the brightest rarely become educators. This fact may acoount for all of this garbage. Critical thinking skills are important and can be taught side by side with the most basic of math skills. What needs to be put into the dumpster is all of the extra stuff that fills the days, e.g. the teaching of songs extoling the dear leader.