Wow! I never knew the US was having problems with education. I live in Canada and last year 1999 the government of Ontario came up with higher education standards. My generation was the first to start with the new highschool reform. I started grade 9 that year. Part of the reform was province-wide testing that ensured that children were not falling behind. I have to complete a literacy test this year. The courses are supposedly tougher since there will be no OAC year and everything must be learned in 4 instead of 5 years.