Tuesday, September 10, 2013

State can't do anything about problems in science standards, says KY commissioner of ed

In today's Lexington Herald-Leader story on Kentucky's science standards, Commissioner of Education Terry Holiday acknowledges that at least some of the criticisms Dick Innes and I have made are valid. The problem is, he says, it's too late to make any changes:
"We certainly recognize that the Bluegrass Institute and Martin Cothran and those folks have some valid concerns," he said. "We want to address the concerns, but we can't go back and revise the standards because they are a 26-state collaboration." 
We can't revise the standards? We just sign on to the Next Generation Science Standards project and we sign our educational integrity away to the feds? Really? You mean we could determine that these standards have problems but we are not allowed to do anything about it?

And what about this whole process of public comment on the regulation we are going through right now and which includes tomorrow's vote on the regulation concerning the standards in a legislative committee? Was this process supposed to just make us feel good--or bad, as the case may be?


Read more here.

1 comment:

Art said...

We just sign on to the Next Generation Science Standards project and we sign our educational integrity away to the feds?


In the eyes of admissions and financial aid officers at the better colleges and universities across the country, Kentucky's "educational integrity" can be best summed by an experience I had this past summer.

I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop involving small undergraduate-focused schools from across the country - a good cross-section representing exactly the sorts of schools that parents state-wide aspire to, as far as their kids' futures are concerned. Invariably, the first reaction of my colleagues to my name badge was "Kentucky ... Creation Museum". This is is the baggage that students and parents outside of the few KY districts and schools that are known nationwide (these would be schools that see a steady stream of representatives from Ivies, the MITs, Stanfords, Dukes of the world, and the highly-selective SLACs that I speak of) carry. This first reaction, in a setting dominated by liberals (not everyone, but many) who might have been more inclined to make snide remarks about the KY Senatorial delegation, says a lot about what others think about us. This first reaction, rather than the respect or disdain that others would have for KY because of the basketball program, shouts loud and clear. Unfortunately, this is the stereotype that weighs, if imperceptibly, when committees consider files with identical SATs and GPAs, but one being from a rural school in KY and one a rural school in, say, upstate NY.

Signing on to the NGSS (which are pretty good, considering they are the work of a pretty large group of people) is a way of thumbing one's nose at this stereotype (that is very real, sad to say). Caving in to the anti-education crew that Martin represents is a way of telling the country "Kentucky ... Creation Museum ... we're durned proud of it!".