Even when I was in the K-12 range, after I got to about this kid's age, the school just stopped bothering to teach any kind of grammar. So no spelling, nothing on proper punctuation use, nothing like that.
It's sad, but schools today just don't teach these very fundamental things. And when you really think about it... K-12 teachers are some of the most important people out there. We literally entrust them to educate future generations, and teach them what they need to know. Problem is, we pay them next to nothing. And don't even THINK about proposing an increase in the local sales tax to improve the school system. Everyone wants to live in the parts of the country with the lowest crime, the best schools, etc, but no one wants to PAY for these things. I don't really know where it is they think the money comes from to pay these things, and I guess they don't really care so long as it's not out of their pocket.
It's not just spelling either. American schools have major shortfalls in several areas. Our illustrious leaders aren't really prepared to do anything about it either. They rush through that idiotic No Child Left Behind bill which fails to provide any kind of increased funding for schools, and basically forces schools to teach to a test. So, the one thing that has always been one of the greatest assets in America, that sort of free spirit inventor and innovator, is being systematically done away with because if schools don't get some magic number with test scores, they lose funding which makes it even HARDER to educate kids. It's not like the government is prepared to step in and pay to have kids in these areas bussed to another district, or reimburse parents for the cost of attending a private school after the public school is shut down. And what happens when private schools are flooded with all these kids from public schools, and those small class sizes explode?
Where I went to school... Somehow the boys football and basketball teams, and wrestling team, never had to use the same equipment for more than a couple of years. The administration also kicked out the special ed class because they wanted air conditioned offices, and the special ed classrooms were air conditioned while the rest of the school wasn't. Meanwhile, the textbooks for the place were literally falling apart after being used for 10-15 years, when the teachers were allowed to buy new books they often couldn't afford to buy enough for everyone, the school itself was in not so great shape after only about 20 years. Naturally the Gymnasium was kept up wonderfully, along with the little concession area off to the one side, even though it was almost never used. And a lot of the top administration were driving brand new cars, while the teachers all tended to have cars held together with string, duct tape, and a prayer. Most of the teachers worked second jobs, just to make ends meet.
Since I've already gone off on a rant, I may as well at least finish it. So on the assumption that there's other schools like that out there... I'd say the focus needs to be on making sure money allocated to schools isn't being misappropriated. The school I went to had a number of very suspicious things going on, and while I can't prove anything, I would be willing to bet good money that there's some embezzlement going on, or funds meant for things like textbooks, are getting diverted to things like the athletics departments.
In the end... Who really deserves to be making a million dollars a year? A CEO who sits in his/her office, largely oblivious to the day to day operations of the company, or a teacher who is tasked with educating tomorrow's CEOs, doctors, scientists, politicians, etc?
Sorry for the rant... Carry on.