Controversial new science standards to impact Kentucky students

By: Morgan Lentes Email
By: Morgan Lentes Email
Changes are coming to the way students learn about hot-button issues like evolution and climate change.

MGN Online

HAZARD, Ky (WYMT) - Changes are coming to the way students learn about hot-button issues like evolution and climate change.

On Wednesday, Governor Steve Beshear approved new state science standards despite push back from the state's Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee.

Now the focus turns to school districts as they start implementing the changes.

For students in Joshua Smith's class, a science teacher at Perry County Central High School, not much has changed since the state started debating the new standards.

"They see a small change but the teacher, I think, is the one that is affected the most because the students, as far as standards go, do not really know what to expect until we supply them with that knowledge," said Smith.

Knowledge like learning more about evolution and climate change, which is causing some to complain.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said the standards are meant to guide schools and not force lesson plans.

"Standards are only high level expectations, the real work of spelling out what the standards mean for our kids comes with writing curriculum, which all of local school districts will now start doing," said Holliday.

Teachers at Perry County Central High School said the new standards will help prepare kids for college because they are topics students will see if they continue their education.

"The new standards will align more with the national standards and it will give our students in Kentucky a better opportunity to graduate high school sort of on the same level as other students within the nation," said Smith.

He added that these topics are already in the classroom.

"It is not complete, major changes in most cases. It is just subtracting some things, adding a few more things. But most of the things that are added are just in more detail than they were previously," said Smith.

26 states worked together to create the new standards.

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