Governor Beshear defends the NGSS


Kentucky's governor Steve Beshear (D) recently told WKU Public Radio (October 31, 2013) why he is supporting the state's adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. "My job, Commissioner Holliday's job, and the Kentucky Board of Education's job is to make sure our children are college and career ready when they leave high school," said Beshear. "Part of getting them college and career ready is to make sure they study all the different scientific theories [that] are out there that everybody else in the world will be studying."

As NCSE previously reported, the NGSS faltered in Kentucky on September 11, 2013, when the legislature's Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee voted 5-1 to find the standards deficient, despite the fact that they were recommended by the state department of education and the state board of education. Governor Beshear promptly announced that he planned to implement the NGSS under his own authority, and (as WFPL in Louisville reported on October 15, 2013) officially notified the Legislative Research Commission of his intention to do so.

Eight states including Kentucky have adopted the NGSS so far, but the process was most contentious in Kentucky, as NCSE's Joshua Rosenau told WFPL in Louisville (October 22, 2013). "If Kentucky had backed away from it or turned it into a political controversy it would have shaped perceptions in other states as well," Rosenau commented. And the controversy is not necessarily over: as WKU reported, "The General Assembly might consider legislation in January [2014, when it reconvenes] that would kill the new teachings."

In the meantime, one science teacher offered a passionate defense of the NGSS in the Lexington Herald-Leader (October 25, 2013). "I am excited about Kentucky's new standards for science education and flabbergasted that anyone could take umbrage with them," wrote Roger Guffey. "After reviewing the standards and the objections raised against them, I realized the fundamental problem. The naysayers cannot separate their religious and political ideologies from science. Of all the standards, these are the only ones that are intimately related to humans and their activities."