A guy named Virgil Griffith at Cal Tech has a website called "books that make you dumb". His basic premise is "Ever read a book (required or otherwise) and upon finishing it thought to yourself, 'Wow. That was terrible. I totally feel dumber after reading that.'? " He does some statistical hocus-pocus with Facebook's "favorite books" at various colleges and said colleges' average SAT scores.
I wish he'd do the same with high school reading. I would wholeheartedly nominate The Scarlet Letter.
(Yes, it's tongue-in-cheek. But kinda funny.)