One of the fundamental changes I've seen in education is the change from learning facts, formulas and processes to investigating, designing and discussing things. Rote learning is now utterly taboo. My problem with this is that you can't have a meaningful discussion about a topic that you know nothing about, nor do I believe that designing a pizza menu or a mobile phone holder is more important than knowing about temperature, calorific value or the electromagnetic spectrum.
A group discussion about the effectiveness of different makes of running shoes is meaningless when the participants do not understand how to rearrange the equation that relates pressure, area and force. Surely it is better to be able to calculate a frequency from a given wavelength and vice versa than to investigate which brand of sunglasses cuts out the most light?
Basic skills such as drawing a graph, rearranging a formula, simple grammar, punctuation and spelling have all been lost and I'm not really sure that they have been replaced with anything of value.