Increasing scientific literacy is a good and noble cause. I'm all for it, and I do what I can to advance it.
But a rigorous curriculum replete with standards-based content and mandated assessments is no guarantee against the appeal of pseudoscience. Or, as I am wont to say: If your students learn KE=1/2mv^2 then proceed to seek wisdom from their horoscopes, did you really do your job as a science teacher?
This story on a report delivered at the AAAS meeting in San Francisco fleshes out the answer. While scientific literacy is on the rise (for the most part), the popularity of pseudoscience continues to roll merrily along. Larry Summers can take comfort that women are more likely than men to consult horoscopes. Creationists can crow over the confusion they've infused regarding the reality of evolution. Creationists might lose every legal battle and school-board skirmish they face, but they can take comfort in the increase of college students who aren't sure whether evolution or creationism provides the better account of man's origins.
"'More recent generations know more factual material about science,' said Carol Susan Losh, an associate professor at Florida State University. But, she said, when it comes to pseudoscience, 'the news is not good.'"
So I would urge you to include some kind of specific critical thinking/skepticism strands in your already-crowded curriculum. The ones included on this page (Skepticism in the Classroom, also liked to the right) are fairly painless. You can probably do better. If you've got a plan already in place, let me know about it in the comments.
Thanks to Darren at Right on the Left Coast for ruining an otherwise pleasant day with news of this report.