Education over the years has largely focused on memorizing a lot of information about a particular subject and then proving that you understand the information by relaying it to someone who has already proven themselves. Whether that is the intention or not, many people substitute understanding with complete memorization. Tests are set up in such a way to see if you studied, not if you understand what you studied.
I thought this would change when I went to College, and while there is a major shift in the purpose of testing between HS and College, it's not big enough and tests still want to see how well you can memorize the subject matter.
With most people in all but the poorest of countries having Internet access, you don't really need to memorize anything because in The Real World(TM) all the information you need is an educated goggle search away.
We should instead give people the access to the Internet and phrase questions so as to force people to use the information at their disposal to solve the problem. Intrinsic knowledge of the basics should still be important since you can't have people pulling out a calculator to figure out a basic equation or looking up the author of a book they're supposed to be reading, but it should be encouraged to use the Internet to your advantage.
Obviously not everyone knows how to use goggle or library search engines properly, but that could be easily fixed with a compulsory class every first year college student has to attend.