Recently the Thomas B. Fordham Institute published a report on the status on science education in this country that is scathing in its judgement of the quality of the science education in this country. Unless you are in California, and few other states in the eastern part of the country, the quality of that education in your state is bad.
Now one of the obvious issues that has been plaguing science education in this country is the fight that continuously be waged between science and religion, Now the watering down of the biology curriculum by having "Creationism" introduced in the instruction is a part of the problem, it is a very small part of the problem.
The main issue is that the standards for science education is very low. Our children just are not expected to learn these subjects, and with poor standard the text books and curriculum are not to developed to ensure they are taught. So our children are not being taught the sciences. They are not learning to think scientifically.
Now there is an intuitive to write new tougher standards called "Next Generation Science Standards" that will try to lift the poor performance of the schools in this area. There are already 26 states that are looking at participating.
For more information, you can go to http://io9.com/5881494/your-state-sucks-at-science