Here are two of the clues to America's current mathematics problem:1."Student-centered" learning (or "constructivism")
2.Insufficient practice of basic skills
I also like that the article mentions Mathematically Correct, an organization with which I've been affiliated for many years now:
Meanwhile, anti-reform advocacy group Mathematically Correct provides an amusing take on constructivism ("What Is," 1996):
"This notion holds that students will learn math better if they are left to discover the rules and methods of mathematics for themselves, rather than being taught by teachers or textbooks. This is not unlike the Socratic method, minus Socrates."