You know about The Next Generation Science Standards that we first discussed here: Kansas Is Having a Lucid Moment. Those are evolution-friendly science standards proposed by the National Research Council, intended to be voluntary guidelines to be adopted by all states for use in their public schools. Besides evolution, the standards also include climate change. Wikipedia has a brief article on them: Next Generation Science Standards.
As we recently reported in Hey Ken Ham: The Devil’s Gainin’ On Ya!, the great state of Kentucky had taken the first step toward approving the standards when they were approved by the Kentucky Board of Education in a 9-0 vote.
But that was only the beginning. Before becoming final in that state, the standards had to go through the state’s regulatory process, which involves public hearings and a review by the state legislature’s House and Senate committees on education. We were expecting a lot of resistance. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Kentucky is home to the creationist empire run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia.
To our delighted surprise, we just found this in Nature: Evolution makes the grade. Take a look at their sub-title: “Kansas, Kentucky and other states will also teach climate-change science.”
Kentucky? Is this for real? Let’s find out. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Five US states have adopted science education standards that recommend introducing two highly charged topics — climate-change science and evolution — into classrooms well before high school.
In the past two months, education officials in Rhode Island, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland and Vermont have all approved the standards by overwhelming margins. At least five more states — California, Florida, Maine, Michigan and Washington — may take up the standards in the next few months.
They said it again — Kentucky! Oh, wait — it’s not over yet. They also say:
That places the guidelines squarely in the path of a high-powered critic who will help to steer the legislative review: Mike Wilson, Republican state senator and chairman of the Kentucky Senate’s education committee, who is a climate-change sceptic and advocate of intelligent design. “Political correctness bears watching and should never be the arbiter of learning,” he wrote in a May article published in The Courier-Journal, a Kentucky newspaper.
Despite Nature‘s alluring sub-title, it appears that nothing has changed since we last posted on this topic. We knew it sounded too good to be true. Let’s read on:
Robert Bevins, a toxicologist and president of Kentuckians for Science Education, an advocacy group formed in February in part to push for the adoption of the standards, says that he is gearing up for a hard fight. “Kentucky has a love–hate relationship with science,” he says, noting that the state has a thriving coal industry that has opposed greenhouse-gas regulations and is also home to the Creation Museum near Petersburg.
The forces of light and darkness are both arming for an epic struggle. But the story ends on an optimistic note:
Richard Innes, an education analyst with the conservative Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions in Lexington, Kentucky, predicts that the guidelines will be sent back to the state education board for revision after the public hearing this month. But ultimately, he says, “I think the science standards will go through”.
Your Curmudgeon always tries to look on the bright side, but the best we can say about Kentucky is that the issue is still unresolved. It should be fun watching how things work out.
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