I've been moaning about the maths education in secondary schools here (England & Wales) for a while, which essentially teaches children to avoid thinking at all cost and replicate solution schemes just with different numbers.
Now here's Oxford mathematician and pop science writer Marcus du Sautoy with a comment on this problem. As a true mathematician, he puts numbers to the economic problem created by the lack of a proper maths education. While for me it's mainly a cultural thing.
And here's the news story about the report which he refers to. Very depressing stuff all that.