Education in the the Western world suffers from low results. To remedy this, you need to decide what you want education to accomplish and by what means. In Europe, the EU steers the educational systems with the help of the Bologna declaration in a direction towards entrepreneurialism and "employability" (http://www.ehea.info/article-details.aspx?ArticleId=16). A different approach is taken in a discussion among US academics with a deep knowledge in the field of education. Professor Stanley Fish summarized part of this discussion in The New York Times last year:
Less emphasis on testing
Less emphasis on entrepreneurial skills and job-training
Increased emphasis on classical skills - math, science, language, history, economics and literature.
Stanley Fish: Classical Education - Back to the Future
Leigh A. Bortins' recent book The Core is one of Fish's sources. Read more about it here.
Read also what Bortins herself says about education and ”edu-tainment”.