Kirby, everyone's kids were falling behind, everyone at the district was in denial before the SAT9 was forced on them, and the New New Math is still here. For example, Phil Daro, one of the architects of California's whole math debacle is a prime mover of the Common Core disaster apparently in the making.
New Math was great stuff, just inappropriate for most math teachers. One can still buy the New Math inspired Dolciani Structure and Method series, and they were a godsend when even the St.Sensible fell short of my son's needs.
BTW, I'll cut the flogging of the dead horse to a minimum. I chose MIT as the real STEM baccalaureate institution to refer to because the two real STEM colleges that are ahead of MIT for the percentage of alums with PhD's are both in Los Angeles County and I didn't want to trigger any Ore-gone-ian Californiaphobia.
Most STEM cheerleaders are essentially just cargo cultists erecting poor imitations of science, math, and engineering hoping that good STEM stuff will drop in.