Via Scientific American:
What exactly is going wrong? The study’s lead authors identified four main factors: an undermining of evolution, vague goals, not enough guidance for teachers on how to integrate the history of science and the concept of scientific inquiry into their lessons, and not enough math instruction.
I read this article a month ago, and in re-reading it, am even more concerned. Twenty-seven states receive grades of D or F while only four states receive grades of A or A-.
Eight anti-evolution bills were introduced in six state legislatures last year, which do everything from treating evolution as "voluntary curriculum", to not including evolution in the basic biology courses, to excluding evolution from state-wide tests. Vague standards do not lay out clear goals and methods of understanding. The idea of scientific inquiry, and how to introduce it to the classroom, has replaced the ideas of tough questions and methods with making observations and using cooperation. And there has been a general removal of "math" from the science curriculum, such as removing equations all together.
Science! at the McWane Science center (Birmingham 2011)
Science is very important in education. I am more convinced of that than ever. Undermining the ability for children to learn science by removing crucial fields of knowledge or removing "difficulties" like equations and math, do not help anyone in the short-run, and probably cause significant harm to science in America in the long run. Removing science due to ideological concerns or personal opinions sends the message to children that it is okay to ignore and/or silence things that we do not agree with, rather than pursuing knowledge for betterment of humankind.