American schools have been largely constructivist for the past 15 years.

Constructivism means:

Every education school in the country teaches constructivism, and all public schools are required to hire only teachers who have attended education schools (or taken a required number of courses in education, which they take from education departments). This means that every teacher below the age of 45 or so graduated from education school taking it as a given that students should spend their days constructing meaning and conducting inquiries in groups. (Every teacher except for the handful who searched out other views on their own, that is.)

So here we are, 15 years after education schools stopped training future teachers in the techniques of moving knowledge from their own minds into their students’ long-term memories. From America’s Skills Challenge: Millennials and the Future:

  • In literacy, U.S. millennials scored lower than 15 of the 22 participating countries. Only millennials in Spain and Italy had lower scores.
  • In numeracy, U.S. millennials ranked last, along with Italy and Spain.
  • In PS-TRE, U.S. millennials also ranked last, along with the Slovak Republic, Ireland, and Poland.
  • The youngest segment of the U.S. millennial cohort (16- to 24-year-olds), who could be in the labor force for the next 50 years, ranked last in numeracy along with Italy and among the bottom countries in PS-TRE. In literacy, they scored higher than their peers in Italy and Spain.

This isn’t just a problem of urban schools:

  • Top-scoring U.S. millennials (those at the 90th percentile) scored lower than top-scoring millennials in 15 of the 22 participating countries, and only scored higher than their peers in Spain.

America’s Skills Challenge: Millennials and the Future | ETS | 2015
And see: Education schools don’t teach teachers how to teach