Let's clear up some misconceptions.
SE never meant to be a place for answers to all questions. We don't spoonfeed people the answer to their homework questions. We don't answer "What is the hardest part of English in your opinion?" We don't even answer "What are adjectives?", unless decided by meta consensus. The SE model is ideally designed for pros helping pros. That doesn't mean it's not for beginners. I'll get to that.
This is what "pros" do and don't when asking:
- They encounter a problem while doing some real work, like when a linguist encounters a tough-to-analyze sentence in some literary work.
- They look for the answer themselves first.
- They know what to look for and where to look for.
- After they're fairly certain they can't find an answer, they ask other experts.
SE was for questions from people that do the above. The idea was that forums all around the internet were nice places with nice people and you could have a relaxing chat in the threads, but before SO there was no place to get a nice, clear-cut answer to a question you've been Googling the answer for, for a week. If there was ever an answer to a question like that, it was below piles of "I haz same problam" rubble.
The "keep noise out" mentality has been magnificently echoed in the philosophy of downvotes. The tool-tip reads
This question does not show any research effort; it's unclear or not useful
Unfortunately, most beginners don't know what to look for and where to look for, they ask other people as soon as a question hits them (which sometimes bothers people as they get flooded with questions), don't encounter real problems, rather exercises from a book, and most importantly, don't look for answers to their questions.
While this doesn't mean Stack Exchange sites are not for beginners, and everyone can participate, an SE site whose main participants are beginners has either of the two ways to take.
- Be divided into two groups; one group wants moderation and the other preservation of content, like the case of ELU, more or less, or
- Be too lenient on questions, let a lot of faults through, like the case of ELL
Notably, the mess English education is in some parts of the world, the contradictions of different terminologies and modern and traditional grammar only intensify the situation.
Yes; in my humble opinion, ELL is generally too lenient on what things can be improved in questions. One unfortunate side-effect of that is that you don't get to enjoy a clutter-free site and see how useful it can be among all those other online forums dedicated to English.
Moderation and preservation of content are on the same side. But as you see what went wrong with ELL, the seemingly endless quibbles about how a post should be phrased seem fruitless. Nevertheless, the mere existence of the tools used for moderation and the few users who do use them and not end up apathetic like me still manages to help this site grow.
And finally, the existing tools do need to be a bit discouraging. As I said, SE is meant to be a last resort. I can assure you it's much more helpful to type "have vs. had" in Google and open and read the first link than to spend time and energy typing a title at least 15 chars and a body at least 30 chars.