The Beloit Mindset lists reflect--in half-melancholy, half-comical fashion--those differences that are slowly but surely separating creaky old faculty from innocent youth. (Although I seem to have missed the thing with the M&Ms. Have I not been paying sufficient attention to the candy situation?) But I've always been more struck by the erosion of shared reading experiences. When I first started teaching, at the grand old age of twenty-seven, certain children's classics from the nineteenth century had clearly gone out of fashion: none of my students had ever read (or, as far as I could tell, heard of) Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales or Ouida's A Dog of Flanders. By the same token, several years on, the presence of nineteenth-century poetry (especially narrative poetry) appears to have been sharply reduced in the local high school curriculum. Nobody has read Browning's "My Last Duchess" or Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," both of which were sophomore- or junior-level reading assignments when I was a teenager in the 80s. (More reassuringly, just about everyone has read some Homer.) Looking through what online syllabi are available suggests that this may result from less emphasis on poetry in general, though.
This is not necessarily a complaint. When my parents were in high school, they were stuck with the double whammy of Ivanhoe and Silas Marner, neither novel calculated to instill a love of nineteenth-century literature in the innocent mind. I had to read Great Expectations and an abridged Les Miserables, both received with an equal lack of enthusiasm. (In fact, I couldn't stand Dickens at all until I had a conversion experience while reading Bleak House around the age of 20.) If anything, nineteenth-century literature selections for high school curricula have always been a little baffling, reflecting more a yen for the uncontroversial than a sense of what might appeal to readers in their early teens.