The Chronicle of Higher Education has a rather depressing interview with Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman on the subject of science teaching. Carl is one of the leaders in efforts to significantly improve student learning of science by utilizing state-of-the-art pedagogical principles (e.g A D- in science education). He and others have demonstrated that remarkable improvements in learning can be obtained for a broad variety of disciplines in institutions of widely differing characteristics by using improved pedagogy (e.g How Learning Works.)
Most recently, he has tried to expand adoption of these approaches from the bully pulpit of his position as Associate Director of Science of The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. As described in the Chronicle article:
At the White House, Mr. Wieman tried to figure out what might actually get colleges and their faculty members to adopt proven teaching practices. His centerpiece idea was that American colleges and universities, in order to remain eligible for the billions of dollars the federal government spends annually on scientific research, should be required to have their faculty members spend a few minutes each year answering a questionnaire that would ask about their usual types of assignments, class materials, student interaction, and lecture and discussion styles.
Mr. Wieman believed that a moment or two of pondering such concepts might lead some instructors to reconsider their approaches. Also, Mr. he (sic) says, data from the responses might give parents and prospective students the power to choose colleges that use the most-proven teaching methods.