The Fordham Foundation points out that Next Generation Science Standards omit most of the material found in high school chemistry and physics courses. And, the Common Core State Standards cut off at about the 10th grade level in math, as well.
That’s a real problem, because if there are no standards for upper level high school courses, the material presented in them cannot be tested. And, we all know what happens in too many Kentucky schools with anything that isn’t on the test. It does not get taught.
In fact, even if a course does exist, it is likely to be first to get dropped when dollars are tight.
I spoke up about this concern with the NextGen Science Standards at the September 11, 2013 meeting of the Kentucky Legislature’s Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee in September.
The committee voted 5 to 1 to find NextGen Science deficient. Of course, the governor overrode that committee, so Kentucky is stuck with standards that leave out the last two years of upper level high school math and science.
Now, here comes more evidence that concerns I voiced in September are well founded. Amazingly, it comes from the Kentucky Commissioner of Education!
In his Doc H’s Blog this week, while making a pitch for more money for schools, Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday posted these telling comments from students:
“Our school eliminated several science classes. My school no longer offers physics due to budget cuts.”
“My school does not have funding to offer several math and science classes that I need for my future career.”
Well, that is what happens when you leave important stuff out of a set of standards. Those courses that are not in the standards and that won’t be tested are the first to go. Or, they never get offered at all.