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Kentucky Education Committee Passes on Hearing Science Standards, Official Adoption Near


Kentucky’s new science standards have taken a step closer to becoming officially adopted this week.

The Next Generation Science Standards—which were developed by 26 states including Kentucky—wererejected by a small regulation committee earlier this year. Gov. Steve Beshear has said he would use his power to override that decision and implement the standards anyway. (Related: WFPL's past coverage of the Next Generation Science Standards)The Kentucky Department of Education has already begun preparing educators around the state for implementing the new standards in the 2014-2015 school year, but some anticipated an interesting vote from the larger 40-member interim joint education committee, which could have also voted on the standards.Instead, that committee chose not to hear the standards in this week’s meeting.Officials with the Legislative Research Commission—the body that oversees all things related to laws and regulations—says the interim committee could still hold a special meeting between now and Nov. 1, but co-chair Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Franklin, says "it’s a done deal" and the standards have overwhelming support of the business and science communities.Some argue the standards don’t do enough to support students in certain areas of science and that they leave out key concepts. But many educators say they’ll dive deeper into scientific ideas and will force students to demonstrate the use of science.Gov. Steve Beshear still needs to send the official notice—or letter—to the LRC acknowledging his decision to override the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee’s rejection before the standards are officially adopted.UPDATE: Oct 15, 8:11 pm: Gov. Beshear's office has shared with WFPL a copy of his signed letter to the LRC acknowledging his decision to implement the standards despite the committee's rejection. According to the LRC, if the Interim Joint Education Committee wishes to hold a special meeting to consider the standards by Nov. 1, and it is rejected in that committee, then Beshear would have to send a similar second letter to the LRC.