Knowing more about the world. Future generations will need to be more sensitive to foreign cultures and more conversant in foreign languages. I say amen to that. The average American is not multi-lingual and is not, generally speaking, very conversant in the ways of other people in other places in the world. Revolutionary changes in communication are connecting us to countries and cultures in ways that make global awareness more a mandate than a wishful hope.
Thinking outside the box. The jobs that don't get out-sourced or automated are the ones that will require creative, innovative minds that think not just logically, but divergently as well. That has always been an American strength, but it's being sapped by a national obsession with standards-based curriculums in our public schools that focus increasingly on minimum expectations from our children.
"No Child Left Behind" casts a broad net to keep a rising number of learners from falling behind, but it also impedes the progress of our brightest students who would benefit more from being pushed forward rather than repeatedly going "back to the basics."