"@Subway" - I agree for the most part with the assumption that if a child is given a subpar education than it will create the same type of result from the child.
However, I had a friend who went to a public high school that was not very regarded, but despite the poor teachers, my friend signed up for the hardest classes and studied really hard.
It paid off because she got accepted to NYU and later became a lawyer. While cases like this come from very motivated students, there are people that can rise to the occasion regardless of the poor circumstances they are dealt.
But I have to say that I do think that it is sad that a country like the United States is ranked 25th internationally in math. The garbage in and garbage out principle does apply and we should look at ways to change the education system and maybe offer more charter schools so that kids can have a choice when it comes to their education and not be destined to repeat the same generational failures of the past.
The movie, "Waiting for Superman" really discusses this option at length.