Learning the basics in high school and expanding on those basics in college has been a very effective way of making scientific progress.
Your point seems to be that the Japanese and Indian high schools are more effective in teaching the basics (and those well equipped kids then matriculate to American colleges, where they outperform American high school kids).
I fail to see how further undermining the teaching of basics in American high schools serves to correct this problem.
We don't teach true science and math, rather, we teach them this ToE stuff and tell to believe it or their never be scientists! Who needs critical thinking when you have this!?
How is teaching kids to look critically at science "further undermining the teaching of basics in American high schools"?
Aren't scientists supposed to be objective? How do you expect to teach kids to look at something objectively if you demand that they just vomit back theory taught as fact?