Would they learn the proper way to define things? "Define a word by giving (a) its general class and (b) the characteristics that make it different than other things in that class."
Would they learn about emphasis . . . in sentence, paragraph, theme?
And on, and on, an on.
I'm beginning to sound like a real geezer, but I'll tell you, brothers and sisters, the basics are still the basics. And I think we have more than enough proof that neglecting them when we're teaching kids is a guarantee that you're going to end up with a generation or more of people who at best achieve a barely functional literacy. Look around you. Does it fill you with confidence?