I'm not sure how it is in other states, but in New York we've certainly dumbed down our courses. I've been planning my next few lessons for my Regents Western Civilizations class and realized that there's barely any "meat" to the course anymore. It's the bare minimum, if that. I'll give the best example of a watered down course: on the sample syllabus we were given, it has covering the Industrial revolution in ONE day. Basically, just say: "It started in England. It was both positive and negative. It spread elsewhere in Europe." I'm just amazed at the quality of education that students receive now compared to just 15 years ago. Personally, I blame the end to tracking in NY... the whole idea that the smarter kids will help those that are slow learners is complete garbage. I want to give my faster learners more advanced material but I'm sure I'd have parents on my back about how that's not fair because of GPA ranking... blah blah blah.