Math and English are different from other subjects taught in school. To be sure, they are “stand alone” subjects. But they are also:
The tools that are used to learn other things. Basic math skills provide a “window to life”. Without those skills many areas of study (finance, science, engineering, accounting, medical school, etc) will be closed or made more difficult. Without basic math skills a person will be unable to make intelligent decisions in areas of basic finance (mortgages, credit cards, savings, investing, etc). Without basic math skills, you will go through life with “one arm tied behind your back!”
What are the schools doing about this? Nothing!
Check out the following articles which provide examples of this problem.
The Consequences of Weak Math Skills