I have taught a similar number of math finance master's students over the last decade, too, and they have generally been pretty disappointing, but mostly Chinese. So we really can't blame them on the "educational system in the West."
As for my own schooling, it was entirely pedestrian (there was school, and you went to it). I will admit that our kids went to a Manhattan private school, but not one of the ones where 25-50% of their graduates attend Ivies. Which, incidentally, has almost nothing to do with anything other than the number of legacies and development cases cultivated by the schools' admissions process.