It's been decades since any sort of traditional math has been taught in most K-6 schools, but we still hear the same arguments. Our schools have used Everyday Math for years, and before that, they used MathLand. When schools and the state look at the testing numbers and whether they go up or down, it has nothing to do with any sort of traditional approach to teaching math.
Kids get to middle school and high school and still can't show mastery of very basic skills. Even those who favor discovery methods claim that mastery is needed. It still doesn't happen even though mastery of basic skills is much easier to check and correct than vague critical thinking skills.
My conclusion is that it's a huge case of denial.
It's Anti-Math. It's anti-hard work because hard work and expectations separate kids. They claim that kids will learn when they are ready, but that just keeps them from the hard work of figuring out whether there are other causes. It allows them to avoid working on things they don't like. That's why we parents get messages telling us to work on math facts with our kids.
In 5th grade, my son's Everyday Math teacher realized that many kids were struggling with simple things like adding 7+8. She knew these kids were "ready". She tried to fix the problems, but then didn't get to 35% of the material in the course. She believed in mastery, but the other teachers were happy enough to "trust the spiral".
Everyday Math facilitates this denial. They want math to be a pump and not a filter, but what they are doing is pumping along the failure until its too late and then dumping that guilt trip on the kids.