Sounds like a course for easy credits, so insert your own assumptions here and please be nice.
I finished my post-grad about a year ago at a highly ranked public university for my specific scientific field. The third/fourth year courses I taught had exceptionally bright students, where said courses were not easy credits. I would disagree with the premise of your statement based on experience, but I'm also distanced from public high schools. You may be seeing the effect of poor preparation at that level.