Quillette has an article It's Time to Start Treating High School Math Like Football, which has the premise that we should focus math resources on those who want to learn it, not require everyone to study it. He makes the analogy to football, where we produce many excellent players year after year, even though we do not require everyone to play football in order to see how good they are at it. It's not a crazy idea, and has some good reasoning behind it. But it is wrong.
Math is not taught because some huge percentage of us are going to use the knowledge side-angle-side can be used to prove that triangles are congruent, or that taking the derivative of an equation will reveal the changes in its slope. At levels beyond the simplest algebra and geometry, it is taught because it is abstract and each step depends on the one before it. We have the student build and demonstrate their ability to handle abstraction in a fairly narrow time span of a few years, to see how far they can rise before the material is beyond them and they struggle. It is useful as a measuring stick more than as an ability that will be required for adulthood. Therefore, when a student has reached their limit in math and they cease taking it, we ask no further of them. They are done, we have our answer. The practical math of percentages, fractions, and statistics we continue to keep fresh because they will actually use those things. The remainder, no.
We don't have to use those specific types of math in the order that we have devised. We could design it differently, so long as the principle of increasing abstraction were maintained. Heck, we would even have to use math if we used some other topic using similar amounts of abstract reasoning and facility. I am willing to be convinced there is something better than finding the area under a curve, already an arbitrary choice. I just haven't seen anyone make a case for that. When people advocate away from teaching abstract math, they invariably choose something of much lower abstraction, sometimes a skill that is entirely unrelated. These are often very useful skills worth having and measuring, requiring perseverance or social skills, or popular but less-useful abilities such as the ability to parrot political cliches.
But not the same skill as math. We are attempting to discover the ability to think abstractly and this is currently the best method we have. Verbal analogies aren't bad, but not quite so efficient at this.