Target: Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear
Goal: Applaud Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear for defending teaching science in schools
Recently an education review committee in Kentucky struck down the state’s plan to follow new federal science education guidelines into its schools’ curriculum. However, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear disagreed with the committee and vowed to overturn their hasty decision. He announced that he planned on implementing the Next Generation Science Standards under his gubernatorial authority despite the Kentucky legislature’s 5-1 decision to vote them down. As a result of the governor’s decision, the standards will be put in place until the state assembly revisits the issue. The standards could be killed by the state’s general assembly when the issue returns in January 2014, but Beshear will still have power to veto that decision if the assembly chooses to kill them.
The Next Generation Science Standards are voluntary guidelines that outline standards for science education that include teaching about evolution and climate science. The path for Kentucky to implement the science standards has been all but smooth. Although the state Board of Education approved the standards in June 2013, the Kentucky Tea Party, in conjunction with family-based and religious groups, has fought hard against adopting those rules. Their lobbying ultimately dictated the review committee’s decision to vote down the standards.
Other opponents to the standards take issue with them because of the assumptions made regarding climate change and evolution. The cited assumptions include the role of anthropogenic activities such as the expulsion of greenhouse gases and the burning of fossil fuels as major contributors to the overall rise in the surface temperature on Earth.
Currently only California, Kansas, Maryland, Rhode Island and Vermont have approved the science standards. Although this represents a major victory for proponents of science education, some other states have vehemently resisted incorporating the standards into their state curriculum. In 2012, the Texas Board of Education stated that there was absolutely no chance that the state would approve of the guidelines.
Currently very few children learn about climate change in public schools throughout the United States. Climate change is something that will affect future generations, so all students should have access to a climate change education. Furthermore, kids need to be prepared to build and support a low-carbon economy to minimize the adverse effects climate change will have on them and their families. They must learn the fundamental information about climate change in order to do so. Please sign this petition to commend Governor Beshear for promoting the implementation of science standards that will ensure that future generations understand climate change and the effects it will have on them and subsequent generations.
Dear Governor Steve Beshear,
We commend you for your decision to promote the implementation of Next Generation Science Standards in the public school curriculum in Kentucky despite the review committee’s decision to vote them down. Climate change will affect future generations, and kids need to understand the basics of climate change in order to be able to prepare to deal with the adverse effects it will have.
Currently only five states have implemented the science standards into their state public school systems. Hopefully, Kentucky will become the sixth state to educate kids on both evolution and climate change. We applaud you for your stance on science education and hope your decision will influence other state governors to follow in your footsteps.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rob_ via Flickr