McGrath, I take your point about the school system. Maybe they should ban all education. At least until they go back to the drawing board and fix it.
Regarding the smoothing out of folk music to make it more accessible, I believe that this is what traditional folk singers do when they sing their variants. It's all about communication. Barbara Allen gets updated to deal with a new set of circumstances.
Regarding the "folk music is everything" argument, I can only say if it don't feel like folk it probably ain't. If a folk song is sung in the forest and there's no folklorist around to interpret it, does it exist?
It's disconcerting to think that future folk music may written on today's bathroom walls. Or rap and roll.