There seems to be a worldwide recognition of the fact that the education standard in most countries has dropped, or at least that there seems to be a glitch in the high school education system. Do we as authors have a responsibility to consider that when we write? For our readers to get something worthwhile out of our books, do we have to adapt the way we write to a changing world?
Non-fiction writers are responsible for telling the truth. But they will often use the book as a way to propagate dubious belief systems, products and services, or promote themselves, and the truth becomes less important, in which case the writer is missing the highest purpose, but that's probably how that person lives his/her entire life.
Interesting question and comment. I write textbooks for post-secondary education and speak internationally .I do not believe the standard of education has changed worldwide (and I would ask for evidence of this), nor that authors of textbooks or other non-fiction need to do something about that. From my viewpoint, there are two things to consider when writing. (1) I do believe I have a professional responsibility to be accurate about my material. I spend hours and hours and hours researching and inquiring in order to do so. I believe it is my professional obligation. (2) I completely believe I have a responsibility to engage my readers (the learners) in my material. I think this is often missing from textbooks and I strive to change that. I think it is important to be cognizant of the world in which our students/readers live and learn and include that somehow as part of the context of the overall writing.