As for the defensiveness of this forum, I see your point. I've followed a few posts today where I've seen you be on the receiving end of quite defensive responses. Unfortunately your sensible comments and open, honest debate is easily mistaken for/confused with the increasing ranting of people expecting an off-the-shelf, in stock, ready-for-market product.
Now we are talking and can have a constructive dialog.
IMHO the Raspi is just an enabling factor and perhaps a source of funding for RPF to be able to execute on their vision.
Among the many issues that are part of the problem with the current educational system I'll just mention two.
1- Text books are outdated, inflexible and costly. By this I don't mean that literature or reference material or specific subject books are not useful, but the current text books used at elementary and middle schools (at least in the US) are static, they don't provide any interactivity and do not help to open the minds of the kids to be able to reason and reach their own conclusions. Also they have to constantly be updated, reprinted and distributed. Apple, among many of the publishers that are already on board, and other similar efforts are targeting this problem from the private sector.
I had the pleasure to be involved and participate in the local TEDx talks, in 2010 one of the speakers we had was Dr. James Bower, he believes that text books should be burned. I invite you to watch his short talk at TEDx.
From the talk you will learn that the US spends $6.8 billions per year in text books, so how many Raspi you can fund with that ?
2- The current educational system hasn't changed as the recipients of that education have changed. Kids are wired in a complete different way, not just psychologically but also neurologically, for them technology, the Internet, iPods, iPads, smart phones, are natural, they are what is called "Digital Natives," but we keep teaching to them the old way and if they don't meet the test or their attention is on other things (multitasking or performing several activities at the same time is natural for them) we start looking for patterns of ADD, ADHD, or any other type of modern disabilities.
It is really time for a change,
Just another quick example, we teach the kids to use a phone and we tell them "dial this number," can you tell me (or them) where the heck is the "dial" ?