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Kentucky to Teach New Science Standards, Halt Testing for 2014-15

The Kentucky education commissioner is scheduled to announce today that the state will officially implement the Next Generation Science Standards in the fall of 2014, but will hold off on testing students in the subject for at least one year while a new assessment is developed.

In a "commissioner's report" posted ahead of today's state board meeting, Terry Holliday explained that the one-year minimum gap between standards implementation and testing is necessary because the current test is out-of-date. He wrote:

Once the new test is built to match the new science standards, testing will resume. ... By implementing this decision, two important outcomes occur: (1) teachers receive a clear message to teach the new science standards immediately; and (2) Kentucky saves a substantial amount of money that can be repurposed to support the development of the new science test.

Kentucky's state board provisionally adopted the science standards in June 2013, just weeks after Rhode Island became the first state to adopt. That decision was followed by much pushback from the legislature. The governor eventually flexed his executive power to ensure they would be implemented.

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