Kentucky OKs Next Generation Science Standards?

We’ve posted a few times before about the privately-drafted evolution-friendly Next Generation Science Standards (NCSS) that some states are voluntarily adopting. The Discoveroids don’t like them, of course, because a state that adopts the NGSS is pretty much immunized against their “academic freedom” law — see Klinghoffer: Nefarious Nationalized Science.

We recently wrote Kentucky — A Small Step for Sanity. The Kentucky Board of Education had approved the NCSS, but they still had to win the approval of the Kentucky General Assembly. That was about six weeks ago.

Whatever went on in Kentucky yesterday, it must have been chaotic. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) reported about it twice. The first time their headline was NGSS falters in Kentucky. They said, with our bold font:

Despite the recommendation of the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Board of Education, a legislative committee voted not to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards for the state. At its September 11, 2013, meeting, the Kentucky legislature’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee voted 5-1 to find the standards deficient.

But then NCSE added:

The decision is not final, however, although it is unclear what the next stop in the approval process is going to be.

They also said:

Five states — Rhode Island, Kansas, Maryland, Vermont, and California — have adopted the NGSS so far, and in none of those states was there such a visible resistance to their inclusion of evolution and climate change [as in Kentucky].

But before we were even aware of the bad news, everything changed. Later in the day NCSE posted this: NGSS triumphs in Kentucky. Now they say:

On September 11, 2013, Kentucky’s governor Steve Beshear announced that he “plans to implement the new Kentucky Next Generation Standards under his own authority,” as the Lexington Herald-Leader (September 11, 2013) reports. The announcement follows on the heels of the Kentucky legislature’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee 5-1 vote that the standards are deficient.

That’s remarkable! The legislature’s committee voted 5-1 against the NGSS, yet Beshear is going to implement them anyway. There’s much more to him than we once thought. A while back we posted Kentucky’s Governor Is a Flaming Idiot. That was because of Beshear’s ties to Ken Ham. Around the same time there was an editorial critical of him for the same reason — see Editorial Opposes Gov. Beshear & Noah’s Ark.

Our criticism of Kentucky’s governor seemed justified at the time, but like the armadillo and the three-toed sloth, Beshear has somehow traveled an impossibly long way from Noah’s Ark. Let’s read on from NCSE:

The Herald-Leader quoted a deputy press secretary for the governor as saying that Beshear “views these standards as a critical component in preparing Kentuckians for college and the workforce. Therefore, as provided by law, he will implement the regulations notwithstanding the finding of deficiency.”

That sounds very nice; unfortunately, it’s still not a done deal. NCSE also informs us:

But the Kentucky General Assembly could override his decision when it reconvenes in January 2014.

NCSE quoted from the Lexington Herald-Leader. Their article is Governor to implement new science standards. Discussing the hearing in the legislature, the newspaper tells us:

The debate has been heated at times in Kentucky. Subcommittee co-chairman Johnny Bell, a Democrat from Glasgow, clamped down on verbal jousting in Wednesday’s meeting, sternly threatening to have people removed for outbursts.

“We’re not going to debate this,” Bell said. “If we do, we’re going to end up in fisticuffs, and I don’t have a gun or knife or anything.”

The legislators seem passionate about creationism. Or maybe that’s just a typical day for them. Anyway, it’s not over in Kentucky. Next year’s legislature will decide the matter. It’s probably going to be messy.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Kentucky OKs Next Generation Science Standards?

  1. I don’t know which I am looking forward to more, a snarky blog post from the DI or a pious commentary by Ken Ham.

  2. I would like to see Rand Paul comment on this, if only to verify where the biblical apple falls in relation to the tree of literalism.

  3. Lexington Herald-Leader articles makes reference to

    –Johnny Bell, a Democrat from Glasgow–

    Whaaaa? No true Scotsman could be a Democrat.

    And as for Glaswegians…

  4. Wildly off topic, but Google Maps have just released The Galapagos Islands in Street View

    Kinda cool!

  5. Oh, great. Now Google’s officially part of the Intergalactic Multi-Generational Socialist (or is it Communist?) Darwinian Conspiracy. How is a creationist supposed to get anywhere?

  6. “We’re not going to debate this,” Bell said. “If we do, we’re going to end up in fisticuffs, and I don’t have a gun or knife or anything.”

    Whaaa?! No true Scottsman pulls a gun in a fistfight!

  7. Good for Governor Beshear….If creationist want this taught then they need to send their kids to a private school. Creationism is not scientific…It’s religious and unconstitutional to be taught in a public school. If you want it taught teach it at home, teach it in church or go to a private school. I want my granddaughter’s to go college and understand scientific theory. Don’t force your religious beliefs on others in a public school. It’s not the not their place. Your children will hate you when they get to college and don’t know anything about Science. God works in many ways, through Science he has healed the sick. He can use many ways to do his work. Why are people so afraid of Science?

  8. ky lady wonders:

    “Why are people so afraid of Science?”

    Because it’s human nature to fear what is not understood. Viewed naïvely, science threatens the glib and facile answers that are many religions’ stock-in-trade and which usually come packaged as Eternal and Immutable Truth™. Science gives us a growing set of tools that can be used for good or ill, but the irony in people’s fear of science is that it provides the surest path to improving living conditions generally in all sorts of ways, including the alleviation of many fears.

    And, in reality, science reveals nature’s magnificence and subtlety much more grandly than any fantasy ever could.

  9. thanks Con-Tester.

  10. Actually, Con-tester, I think it’s the nature of creationists to fear what IS understood.

  11. Yes, that definitely is a point. Should one therefore conclude that some humans are driven by irrational fear to extreme contrariness? Or does the observation imply that creationists are to be excluded from the category “human”?