Next Generation Science Standards

Kentucky K-12 schools are preparing for the implementation of the new Next Generation Science Standards, which  have been met with acclaim and some controversy both in the commonwealth and across the country.

ky.gov

Kentucky schools will begin using the new Next Generation Science Standards this fall.

While controversial, supporters say the changes are needed to keep pace with other states and prepare students for college and careers. Critics, however, worry that evolution will be taught as fact, but Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says it will be considered as theory, and he says man-made climate change will be treated the same. 

Science educator and television host Bill Nye will head to northern Kentucky Tuesday for his much-publicized debate with Creation Museum president Ken Ham. But the star of  “Bill Nye the Science Guy” first stopped at Murray State University Monday night to deliver this year’s Presidential Lecture.

Bill Nye.com

MSU’s Presidential Lecturer, Science Guy Bill Nye will debate the founder of Northern Kentucky’s Creation Museum, the day after his speech in Murray.

Kentucky is among several states preparing to introduce new science standards in public schools. And, like many of the others, Kentucky has seen opposition to the standards from a vocal minority.

But the debate has been a bit more heated here and some have even called the state's adoption of the standards the most contentious in the country.

“Everybody is watching what everybody else is doing,” says Josh Rosenau, policy director at the National Center for Science Education.

Kentucky education officials' consideration of Next Generation Science Standards gained national attention last month when The Huffington Post and others picked up on criticism of evolution and climate change during a public hearings on the matter. 

Here's the latest:

The chair of the Kentucky Board of Education doesn’t expect the controversy over newly-adopted science standards to lead to a change in those standards before they're implemented.

The Next Generation Science Standards were developed by an independent consortium of 26 states, including Kentucky, and are part of Kentucky’s 2009 education reforms. They will update what students will be expected to learn in science.

lrc.ky.gov

The Kentucky Board of Education has approved new science standards for grades K through 12.  They must now move through the regulatory process.  The Commonwealth is among a coalition of twenty-six states that developed the standards that identify science and engineering content that all students through 12th grade must master to be prepared for college. 

The Kentucky Department of Education is asking educators and others to weigh in on new science standards the state will likely adopt sometime this year.