Too many posts in the original thread! My original answer stands - no, it is a waste of scarce time when the schools can't even manage to teach the basics. However, making the T-day dessert just now stirred up an old memory of my 7th grade home-ec class. We managed to learn to make stewed prunes. Can you imagine teaching something like that? Most kids, at least back then, hated prunes, much less stewed prunes. But I just made a dried fruit compote for my T-day dessert and I could help but think of that ridiculous home-ec class. As I recall, we also made chocolate chip cookies using the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse chip package. And that was pretty much it. The rest of the time, we learned to sew.
Yup. Waste of time. I'm pretty sure I could have mastered cooking on my own because I did! No one taught me except TV cooking shows, Harold McGee, and more recently, the internet.