The relentless focus on standardized testing in our schools has diminished the opportunities for teachers to expose students to a diverse and rich array of content and context representative of the type of world they will soon be thrust into. The obsession with standardized testing is nothing more than a misguided attempt at accountability. As a result, our students are graduating with an insufficient grasp of neither basic content nor the skill-set they need to be an effective learner.
Traditional teaching methodology is also ineffective and is unlikely to produce individuals who will be able to compete in a global learning economy. With few exceptions, school as it is now, is based almost entirely on the dependency paradigm. The vast majority of work is structured and delivered to the student with a much smaller amount being self-directed or at least collaborative. The proportions need to be flipped, or at least balanced.
Self-directedness is a key aptitude that a successful learner must possess to prepare for the 40+ years of learning that will take place after formal education is complete. But we are not developing this aptitude at a sufficient level.