Teaching Science in Science Class
The Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon has a good editorial that places a bit of blame for Americans' ignorance of evolution on the public schools. I think it's a reasonable argument.
Most importantly, I think it's obvious from hearing public debate that the vast majority of Americans don't understand what a scientific theory is.
What seems abundantly clear from the Pew Center poll is that American public schools have consistently failed to teach students the fundamentals and vocabulary of the scientific method. Critics of evolution constantly repeat that it is "a theory, not a fact," clearly implying that alternative "theories" ought to get equal time in the classroom.
But this is a semantic subterfuge that succeeds precisely because so many products of the U.S. public school system - including many who now serve on school boards - don't know the difference between a scientific theory and the common usage of theory to mean a hunch or a speculation.
We need better science education in our schools, but I don't know if we're ever going to get it. There's such an anti-science mentality at the top of our government today that it's hard to imagine rigorous scientific standards becoming the norm in our classrooms.