It's a little more complicated than that, but I hear the sentiment loud and clear.
US education has suffered under a series of bad ideas over the last couple of decades, and the Christian Right is just the latest blow.
We've weakened our standards --even in some cases eliminating old criteria-- driven in part by the 60's- and 70's-style liberal (sigh, and I am a liberal) idea that it was more important to encourage as many children as possible, rather than tell some kids, "Look, you're going to struggle with this, but you're going to learn it to level X. Once you've gotten to X, we may decided to put you on track A, B, C depending on how you're doing." Some schools do this, but seem to do it badly or only partially, or focus on the gifted kids rather than cracking the whip on the other 95% of kids (who aren't stupid, but just need to work their asses of to get certain subjects done.)
We've pegged all sorts of things --accolades, funding, pay-- to test performance (No Child Left Behind and it's ilk were just the latest version of this) and so teachers, schools, districts, even entire states lowered their standards or in some cases just cheat (surprise, surprise.) And, perversely, when standards of whatever quality are not met the same management is left in place, with the same teachers, and resources are what are changed (== lowered.) Who's crackpot idea was this? (And, no, I'm not Bush-bashing, since he was not in fact the originator of it and it has, so far, seemingly been taken by a wide variety of people as 'on the right track.')
The idea that schools are funded by property taxes / local district revenues is so deeply buried in the "American Way of Doing Things" that I don't know that I've even heard this mentioned in the last 5 years as the huge source of problems that it is. Adjunct to that is the very American idea that quality of education is not a right or requirement; we have a public system of education that is in many ways similar to private education. And the parents in 'good' districts fight tooth and nail to prevent funding from going to 'bad' districts, for obvious reasons; state and federal funding that goes to schools is the first to be cut; and poor schools get hit disproportionately by the above, NCLB.
Parents aren't held responsible and responsible parents have little to no interaction with the school or resource support from the school unless they want to go to the (somewhat extreme) of being a "PTA mom". And teachers aren't given the base-pay and incentives to work 6- or 7-day weeks, often 12 hour days to make enough difference in kids lives where they get the kind of recognition for being "one of the good teachers." (Another perverse trade-off, where there is this common but rarely called out template where "good" teachers are good because they sacrifice themselves to the job, to their kids. But why don't we expect e.g. you to sacrifice yourself to your job?) Then there are "those" parents: not every precious snowflake is a star. Some are just average. Average is called average for a reason.
Mmmm, oh, did I mention the number of "single subject" teachers (math, chemistry, physics, etc.) that have been cut or replaced because those teachers are/were more expensive than general teachers?
And NONE of that even begins to touch on the pervasive (still, even in the age of
So, yeah, the Christian Right heaping it on is a kick in the balls, but it's not the downfall. What is different about it is they are openly and *specifically* hostile to some scientific results (tough certainly not all), and the scientific framework in general. That is scary, and politically dangerous. But I think it remains to be seen whether they are the worst threat or merely the most annoying.