Captain Craig wrote:
...What's going to be done to make them better?...
Essentially, nothing. The reform movement is not about actually making schools better. On a narrow level it is about justifying budgets and consultants' fees and a multitude of supervisory jobs for people who don't want to be in a classroom. On a higher level, it is about breaking teachers' unions. And on the highest level, it is about privatizing education to make it profitable, while also limiting education for the population at large. An informed citizenry is certainly not desired, but there really is no great need for scientists and engineers who expect a US "upper middle class" salary. Not while you can import an equally good but cheaper foreigner.
If you look closely at what the so-called reformers want to teach, they strongly promote what I call the Japanese work-team model: A group of people used to being jerked around by a higher management that is constantly caught by surprise, who has been trained to do half the administrative work of supervising each other (what the bosses like to call the teamwork,) while constantly adding new tasks and skills in an endless speedup.