Public education has been systematically dumbed down, removing academic standards and replacing them with "diversity" and other aspects of liberal ideology. It's OK if you can't spell or add, as long as you're doing something about global warming (which, BTW, may well not even exist, but don't tell anyone.)
The media would rather waste air time and column inches with celebrity gossip than actual news. Why do they think I'm supposed to care more about who some starlet is sleeping with than about the actions of my government? Is it because they are shallower than a kids' wading pool (yes) or because they know that uninformed people can more easily be brought to believe in their cause? (Also yes.)
Then there is Hollywood. The movies that make the largest profits are the G-rated movies, so Hollywood makes almost none of those and increases the number of Rs and NC-17s (the euphemism for X) every year. Either they can't get their little pea brains out of the gutter or they have an agenda that has little or nothing to do with maintaining standards or making money.
Then there are our noble public servants. These are the people who tax us to support deviant art, hand our money to lazy people who refuse to work and to foreign dictators, let terrorists move freely into our country, try to tkae away our self-defense, and do so many other things to protect us from ourselves.
That is why society is so dumb it sometimes can barely function.
Public education is a reflection of the society we live in. Therefore, whether or not public education is the problem depends on what we allow to pass for public education.
Most public education before 1970 still reflected and supported the teaching of morality, values, patriotism, and educational excellence. Much of the rot started much sooner- sooner than I ever realized, but it took some time to completely take over the system.
Somehow, as those postive things have left the mainstream of our society they left the public schools too.
To sum it up, I would lay more blame at the foot of the 1960s instead of blaming one of the institutions it screwed up.
Sew du eye.