Now, we are also seeing similar decline in science knowledge among high school students.
The rise of temporary worker visas in the US has been accompanied by significant educational decline by a variety of measures.
The reason is really quite simple: scientific and technical professions are more subject to direct competition from foreigners via immigration compared to other occupations. Real Estate Salesmen, CPA's, Lawyers, stockbrokers all have some very well paid practitioners - but none of these occupations have a special visa classification aimed at enabling foreigners able to get jobs in the US to do so.
The US's leading competitors in technical areas include countries like Japan and South Korea with virtually no immigration, high education levels, large trade surpluses - and which lack the natural resource base the US has.
The US needs to cease this failed strategy and look elsewhere for a solution.