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Next Generation Science Standards for Kentucky
The Kentucky state board of education adopted Next Generation Science Standards this June, preparing the Bluegrass State to replace standards which earned a D in 2012 with a new set of model national standards. Unfortunately, these strong new standards are under attack. The state legislature must approve the new standards, and ideological opponents of evolution and climate education are gearing up. A key vote is expected to come next Wednesday, September 11. The committee must hear from you now.
Five other states — from Rhode Island to Kansas to California — have joined Kentucky in adopting these new standards. The standards were drafted by 26 states, including Kentucky, with guidance from the nation's scientific advisors — the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences — and the nation's leading science teachers. These new standards are designed to deepen students' understanding not just of what science has discovered, but how science works. Of course, core scientific concepts like evolution and climate change are given the central positions they deserve. These standards will even save states money, since the many states with identical standards can benefit from economies of scale in buying textbooks, implementing standardized tests, and developing teacher training and resources.
The Kentucky legislature's Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee will vote to sign off on these standards next Wednesday. Sign up below to learn more about how to support honest, accurate standards in Kentucky.
Unfortunately, religious and political ideologues in Kentucky are gearing up to fight these NGSS. Answers in Genesis frontman Ken Ham, creator of Kentucky's Creation Museum, smeared NGSS as an "effort by the secularists to impose their anti-God religion on the culture." The Kentucky Senate's Education Committee chair attacked the standards as well, citing long-discredited claims by creationists and climate change deniers. He called for the standards to be reworked to allow "open and objective discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of multiple theories," opening the classroom door to these same debunked claims.
Will you join NCSE and your fellow Kentuckians for science education in fighting for honest science education, without any taint of religious or political ideology? Sign up below to get more information. Please also pledge to make your voice heard by contacting the legislature and attending the committee hearing on Wednesday, September 11. We will follow up with additional resources to help you reach out effectively.