Secondary education in Poland is indeed quite good, but for some reasons you didn't list:
1) There is only one school system that is centrally administered and funded. Private secondary schools are a rarity. There is no equivalent of local school boards as they exist in the US.
2) Culturally homogeneous school-age population: there are few ethnic or immigrant communities in Poland, as such as exist are quite small indeed. While Poland as a whole is poorer than the US, there is no large population of severely disadvantaged youth as there is in the US and other developed countries. There are no rich or poor school districts, as there are in the US. The only major problem I am aware of is education of the small Gypsy population, especially females, who drop out of the system at a very young age.
3) Low violent crime rate and low usage of cocaine, the plagues of cities in the US and the West. Cocaine is just too expensive for Poles to afford.
4) Low level of rigid tracking, as it exists in Germany, for example. The "Realschule" has been eliminated, and students are almost all tracked to "Gymnasium" (German, not Polish) and prepared to take the Matura (similar to Abitur). Most students get a pretty decent math background, especially those in the math and sciences profiles.
5) All educational decisions are made by qualified professionals working for the centralized Ministry of Education, and not by parents or unqualified local politicians. Centralized exams make it easier to identify weak schools and correct the problems quickly. Correction is overseen by the central authority, and not by local interests.
6) Lack of anti-science or anti-intellectual religious sentiment as is common in the US. There are no creationists. This is in spite of the fact that the second largest religion in Poland are the Jehova's Witnesses, who have a rabid anti-intellectual and anti-educational streak in the US, but apparently not in Poland.
7) Reading canonical Polish literature is emphasized.
8) Most of the older generation (parents) had received a good secondary education, so they are able to help their progeny. There is not a large underclass of uneducated, trans-generationally disadvantaged illiterate social misfits, drop-outs and outcasts as there is in the United States.
Problems with the system include:
1) Shocking lack of practical laboratory courses in the sciences. I've had students who had never done a single experiment in science class, just watched a demonstration. Funding for this is very, very low.
2) Lack of civil involvement and volunteer programs for young people. This was a big problem for my students who wanted to study in the US, and required a good deal of creativity to solve.
3) Practically no corporate or industry involvement in the educational system.
4) The system is very good for average students, not bad at all for underachievers, but not inspiring for top students, who get little attention and have to fend for themselves.
5) English teaching is carried out as a foreign language, not a second language. While students are expected to read a prodigious amount of literature in Polish, they are not encouraged to read any literature at all in English.
6) Cheating is rampant and not taken as a serious problem, and there are few safeguards against it as there are in the US.
7) Religious education in public schools is a scandalous racket that is fundamentally morally corrupt. It is a great blot on the whole educational system.
8) There is little in the way of aptitude testing or career/academic counseling. Many high school grads end up in worthless university programs because they have not received proper guidance.
9) The curriculum is designed for students to pass the Matura exam, which is only a weak predictor of academic success. Rote learning is emphasized over more holistic approaches that emphasize independence. Good for average students and underachievers, but bad for gifted and ambitious students.
10) Overall, gifted and ambitious students with a broad world-view are overlooked, ignored or even discouraged, either passively or actively.
While most private schools and the best public schools in the US are generally better than Polish schools, the overall average in Poland is higher. Tertiary education is a whole nuther story, though, and is generally inferior in Poland compared to the West.
A Country with morale and values. The political correctness and lack of values damaged the society and kids feel that they don't need to study anymore
This is, plain and simple, right wing conservative claptrap. Stop watching the O'Reilly factor and get your facts from more reliable sources. The Polish educational system is much more progressive than you think. Also, the generational cultural gap in Poland is huge in Poland compared to Western countries, with Polish millennials resembling their Western counterparts far more than their elders.
At Poland people NEED to study or they will have bad lifes. (And this is a GREAT incentive.
Largely true. But also from the parents perspective in that they will have a bad life unless they have children that earn well. This encourages parents to motivate their children to do well. Not to the degree that you see in Japan or Korea, but more than the average in the West. Also, education is still seen as a way from "escaping" from Poland. Even for young people who decide to stay in Poland, having an education that facilitates finding work in the West is very comforting.