Interesting Gina, Do you think that the dumbing down of kids, (its happening here as well), is the fault of the schools, the teachers, the parents, or the environmental factors, such as fluoridisation, bad diet etc. I think its probably a combination of all these things, plus a large dose of social attitude towards education.
My own daughter, while in high school, did well in her first 3 years, in the fourth year she started to do poorly in maths (previously her favourite subject). I asked her if she needed help, because her results were not good. She told me that she deliberately fudged the exam so that she wouldn't get a good result. When she had gotten good results on the previous test, she was teased very badly, called nerd, geek, brainiac etc. Now you and I know that this is just jealousy, but to a teenage girl this was the end of the world, so rather than appear intelligent, she dumbed down, put her future schooling in jepardy, just to fit in and be accepted socially.
This carries into adult life, I've lived this myself, almost on a daily basis. This is why ML is also dangerous, he makes a point of attacking anyone with an education, "worldly education" (his term), and he is not alone, this is becoming a prevelant attitude in todays society. The less education people have the easier they are to control.