This looks like the beginning of a ton of fun. Look what we found at the website cincinnati.com, online home of an unnamed newspaper that is part of the Gannett chain — possibly the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky. The headline is: New Kentucky academic standards for science advance despite critics.
Northern Kentucky is home to the creationist empire run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. As you know, ol’ Hambo is co-founder of the on-line ministry Answers in Genesis (AIG), which also operates the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.
Let’s see what the news story is all about. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The Kentucky Board of Education on Wednesday approved new academic standards for science education in public schools, including updates on evolution and climate change that have drawn the ire of some conservatives. The standards, approved 9-0, result from 2009 legislation to overhaul content in core academic areas and more closely align curriculum with entry-level college requirements
Evolution in Kentucky? Egad — what’s going on here? The story continues:
Officials worked with 25 other states during the past two years to develop the changes with input from teachers, college faculty, scientists and engineers. Proponents say the standards are key to improving science education, along with career readiness and Kentucky’s economy.
It sounds like they’re talking about The Next Generation Science Standards that we discussed here: Kansas Is Having a Lucid Moment. Can this really be happening in ol’ Hambo’s back yard? Well, there does seem to be some resistance. Let’s read on:
Senate Education Chairman Mike Wilson, a Republican from Bowling Green who manages a Christian radio station, has criticized the new standards for pointing to human activities as a factor in climate change and to evidence that evolution can result in new species.
Wilson’s right! Those new standards are definitely pro-evolution. And it looks like this isn’t a done deal — not yet. We’re told:
The new standards cover all areas of science education from kindergarten through high school. Before becoming final, they are subject to the state’s regulatory process, which involves public hearings and a review by the House and Senate committees on education, where critics may seek changes.
Yes, we expect that critics will be seeking changes. Here’s the final paragraph of the story:
Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said officials carried out the due diligence requested by Wilson. The new standards will reflect the latest research but change little else about how evolution and climate change are taught in the classroom, he said. “Certainly people can make their own judgments,” he said. “We are not asking people to change their beliefs. We are just asking people to understand the science so they can be successful in entry-level college science courses.”
Up until now, ol’ Hambo has been surprisingly non-political — except when it comes to getting tax breaks for his own operation. But we have no doubt that we’ll be hearing quite a bit from him on this issue. This should be interesting.
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