Just like there is a standardized SAT or ACT, there should be a standardized nation-wide test for Muslim high school students to ensure that they have basic knowledge of Islam before they go to college.
I taught Islamic Sunday school at the high school level for a number of years, and the kids coming into that class knew very little even though they had been attending the school since kindergarten. It seems like this is a wider phenomenon. A standardized test that can be adopted across the US or even UK would give a benchmark that schools can aspire to in their instruction.
What should this test cover? Obviously fard `ayn (individually obligatory) knowledge is critical: tahara (purification), salah (daily prayers), sawm (fasting) should be covered in depth. What is the meaning of the shahada (lots of Muslim youth have no clue). What does Surat al-Fatiha mean in English? What does Surat al-Ikhlas mean? Also what are the pillars of iman? What are the attributes of Allah? What is the meaning of tawhid? What is the meaning of shirk? Beyond these basics, the test should cover basic Islamic concepts: What is the Sharia? What is fiqh? Basic points of sirah (Prophetic biography), tarikh would be good. Questions on Islamic adab would also be key surrounding issues like ghayba, haya, husn al-dhann, etc. Also, something on marriage would be good to make sure the students have had some exposure to the Islamic values associated with marriage as they reach adulthood.
What else would make sense for a standardized test of this nature?
Top scorers on the test can then be celebrated annually and awarded scholarships. Islamic schools or masajid with the highest average scores can also be recognized and awarded. This way, we can develop a culture of excellence when it comes to Islamic knowledge at the level of the general Muslim population.