Most of what I dislike about our education system coalesces around final exams: the emphasis on memorization of facts, the confounding of memory with actual learning, the stress and sleep deprivation nearly all students experience (both system-inflicted and self-inflicted), the lack of any post-finals reinforcement (which encourages cram-and-forget)...
I would assume that lots of teachers out there want to actually provide their students with long-term, useful knowledge. I would assume that many of them are as frustrated as I with memory-based curricula, but feel like they don't have a choice (and in many cases they really don't have a choice!) I would also assume many teachers know that a week after finals, their students will forget the vast majority of what they learned in any given class. That must be frustrating.
I don't come across too many students whose teachers are doing it differently, though. There are some, yes. But for the vast majority of students, memorization-as-education remains the norm, and I find that very sad.