Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Governor to Reverse Legislative Panel's Rejection of Science Standards

On a 5-1 vote this afternoon conservative members of the Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee rejected the new Kentucky Next Generation Science Standards finding them deficient. That was quickly followed by an announcement from Governor Steve Beshear that he would use his authority to put them in place anyway.

Commissioner Terry Holliday praised Beshear and told the Herald-Leader that he didn't think there was any meat to the objections raised by NGSS opponents. Earlier this week he called the concerns
"valid." Go figure.

Beshear to implement science standards in wake of panel's rejection

This from H-L:
Gov. Steve Beshear plans to implement the new Kentucky Next Generation Science Standards under his own authority, after a legislative review panel rejected them as deficient during a meeting Wednesday.
That would let the standards move forward, but the regulation could be killed by the full General Assembly when it returns in January.
Terry Sebastian, Beshear's deputy press secretary, said in a statement that the governor "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."
Members of the Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee said they'd been bombarded by a groundswell of opposition to the standards from all across Kentucky over recent days. They also said they were troubled that some basic scientific concepts weren't specifically spelled out in the standards.
An obviously disappointed Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday left the meeting room immediately after the vote, which he described as "political." He also dismissed arguments against the standards.
"I think it was pretty much a political vote," Holliday said outside in the hallway. "I don't think there is any meat to these issues that we haven't fully addressed."
Holliday said that if the standards aren't implemented, Kentucky schools would be left to continue working under the state's existing science standards, which he called "woefully inadequate."
Holliday estimated that if the state ultimately has to start over and write new standards, it could cost millions of dollars and take three to five years to put them in place.
Robert Bevins, president of Kentuckians For Science Education, a group that backs the standards, said the subcommittee's vote would be an embarrassment for Kentucky.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we're on the Daily Show tomorrow," he said.
Read more here:

This from KDE:


            Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday praised Gov. Steve Beshear’s swift action to implement new science standards today despite a legislative committee’s rejection of them earlier in the day.
            “We appreciate the Governor’s courage and wisdom in executing his legal authority to implement the Kentucky Core Academic Standards in science,” said Holliday. “This is good for Kentucky teachers and it’s good for Kentucky students.  As mandated by Senate Bill 1, these new science standards will ensure our graduates are prepared for college and that they will be able to compete with those from around the country and the world.”
           Senate Bill 1, passed unanimously by the 2009 General Assembly, directed the department to develop new standards in science and other subject areas that were more rigorous and aligned with college expectations.
        The commissioner said he was disappointed that the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee did not give the Department of Education an opportunity to refute the misinformation shared by opponents of the standards at today’s hearing.  He said that the committee was led to believe that there was little support across the state for the new science standards and “that’s just not the case,” he said.
          “There were multiple opportunities for public feedback on the Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS) during the development and adoption processes and support was overwhelming,” he said. “During our public comment period, we had more than 3,700 comments in favor of the standards, and less than two hundred opposed.”
        The Kentucky Academy of Science, the Kentucky Science Teachers Association, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, and thousands of Kentuckians have endorsed the adoption of the KCAS, in their present form and without modification.
         In addition, more than 70 state and national groups have endorsed the NGSS, including The Bayer Corporation, Chevron, CISCO Systems, Comcast, Corning, Inc., Dell Inc., Dupont, Eaton, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, IBM, Intel, Merck, Prudential, Raytheon, State Farm, Symantec, and the Travelers Companies, Inc. 
         A few weeks ago, Toyota donated more than $550,000 to Northern Kentucky University to provide professional development on the NGSS to 1,100 teachers and administrators, and by extension to at least 26,000 students, the commissioner said.

Read more here:


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Governor Beshear! Your decision to override the panel is a repudiation of anti-intellectual groups like the Family Foundation. We are "Free at last, Free at last. Thank God, almight, Free at Last."

Anonymous said...

Have you even read the next generation science standards? Our children are far from being ready for any science standards compared to other countries.

We need to focus more on reading and math. Because if they can't read then they defintely can't do the math or science. I personally think the whole department of education system stinks including the Commissioner of Education.

Then we have our Governor, who keeps reducing funds, lets see classrooms are larger than ever, fewer books, fewer funds, and less money for pre-school programs. Way to go Governor - Let's push the science through and screw everything else that's important.

Anonymous said...

Kentuckians must embrace the future. Steve Beshear is helping us to do that by rejecting the close-mindedness of a few legislators who would prefer the Commonwealth to be a theocracy.

KY teacher said...

What an embarrassment. Martin Cothran wouldn't recognize good science if it came riding by him on a float in a gay pride parade. For them to pretend this was ever about anything other than evolution is one of the most dishonest things I have ever witnessed.

Since when is intentional deception a family value?

Anonymous said...

I was told on good authority that Martin Cothran has been pestering these leglislators to add language about homosexuality that would have used the word "deviant" in his revised science standards. I'm sorry, but Martin Cothran must be considered a threat to democracy.

Martin Cothran said...

Lol. Anonymous, do you have any evidence for your complete fabrication? I'm trying to comprehend the irony of someone criticizing me on my view of science whose standards of verification consist of "I was told on good authority." Who was that authority? And if you can't tell us, then maybe you and KY Teacher could get together and talk about intentional deception.

Martin Cothran said...

Ky Teacher,

So now your in the business of knowing people's private intentions? Man, that's some kind of science you've got going there.

Maybe you could give some evidence for your assertion here. And if you can't, then, when you and anonymous finish talking about intentional deception, maybe you could discuss standards of evidence for the public assertions you make.

Anonymous said...

Pray for Martin! He still hasn't told us how gay marriage threatens democracy in the USA! Or maybe it is gay marriage that is causing global warming? As a Christian, I don't know the answer, but I'm sure we will find it in the "Next Generation Science Standards."

Martin Cothran said...


That's called "changing the subject." It's what people do when things are going badly with their argument. Do you have something substantive to say about the science standards themselves?

Richard Day said...


Surprising comment. When you changed the subject to gay marriage (Here: when we were discussing your H-L Op-ed, I hope that didn’t mean that you were wrong, because I agreed with you.

I had said that, “I don't recall that any part of your op-ed argument was specifically religious.”

Then you changed the subject and wrote: “In terms of gay marriage, there are a lot of objections to it, religious and otherwise. Many of them are simply sociological. There's also the threat it poses to religious freedom, a concern which is not itself religious.”

I noted the change of subject, which I called a shifting of gears, at the time.

Day: “Shifting gears - your gay marriage example contains an assertion that I simply do not understand. It relates to "the threat [gay marriage] poses to religious freedom." Would you care to explain the threat? In what way does someone else's marriage deny me the right to worship as I choose?”

Since that time, some readers and I have been awaiting your explanation. But thus far, you have steadfastly changed the subject.

If that’s an admission that your assertion was ill-considered, please say so. But either way, let’s keep the rules the same for everyone.

If Ky Teacher’s return to the gay-marriage topic (which you originally introduced) is an admission that his or her position on your ‘private assertions” is in error, then it follows that your position on gay marriage is in error.

Yet, we both know that your assertion about changing the subject is not necessarily true either.

How about this: Defend or abandon your assertion. Ky Teacher should do the same.


KY Teacher said...

My comment was a joke, because Martin Cothran is most widely known for his opposition to gay marriage through his association with the Family Foundation. It wasn't part of some larger agenda on my part. Sorry if it took things off track.

Regarding Cothran's questioning my knowledge of his private intentions: Martin, they aren't very private. In your published op-ed pieces you include a clearly deceptive line about an INCREASED emphasis on evolution even though it has been pointed out (by multiple sources) that the new standards actually have LESS coverage of evolution than the ones in place now. Your Foundation has included the same misleading language on filers distributed in churches trying to gin up opposition to the standards.

What else would a logical person conclude give this repeated use of demonstrably incorrect language?

Anonymous said...

I don't think we can apply logic to anything that Martin Cothran says about public education, and I was baffled at how he inarticulately he tried to spar with the mayor of Vicco, Kentucky last week.

I find Mr. Cothran very deceptive due to the fact he constantly denies that he has a religious agenda on this discussion board. I'd have more respect for him in this forum if he'd simply acknowledge his pro-Christian, anti-secular agenda.

If Martin Cothran were any type of educator, he'd realize that the biggest influence on an impressionable student is the good Christian parent not the "college abd career ready" lessons found in the new curriculum standards adopted by KDE.

Cothran, as good parent, need only say to his child, "Honey, I know Mr. Scopes taught you about evolution and Charles Darwin today, but in our home we use use Bible as our textbook. The world was created in X number of days, and monkeys are our friends, not our relatives."

Or if his son were to have a gay teacher at his public school in Danville, he need only say, "Son, your teacher is a homosexual. She must be given respect in school, but please understand that her lifestyle is contrary to Christan teaching, and her recent marriage to Ms. X is a threat to our religious liberty."

Anonymous said...

Seems like we need to stick to the topic and stop attacking individuals. I don't know anything about anyone on this line of conversation except for Dr. Day, but the tone is trending toward petty name calling. I think we can address the subject of science standards in a professional manner without the condesending personal attacks on one another - it detracts from the real issue of concern.