While the newer method does require computer access for every child, most schools now have that capability. As children do more hands-on learning on computers and less in books, these programs are capable of reaching them on a level they can understand.
The children also compete locally, state wide, and on the national level. The experience is invaluable. There are also other mathematical games and clubs that children can join that will help develop skills and are fun. Parents should contact their local school district or state level office of Gifted and Talented Programs for this information.
School administrators are responsible for choosing the type of curriculum taught to children. As long as they are learning, the curriculum is considered effective. Using computer games as a tool is one option available to today's schools.
If you are not willing to do the math, do you really deserve the profits? When you are investing in such a highly leveraged investment, it's important that you understand the basics of the trade, the value of what you are putting into it, what you are getting out of it, and all of your potential loss scenarios.