Sunday, March 7, 2004

Ky. leaves teaching as a local decision



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Kentucky doesn't mandate a statewide curriculum and is not having the same debate about evolution versus intelligent design.

"In Kentucky, school-level curriculum is often determined by a school-based decision-making council with input from teachers," said Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Lisa Gross. "Those decisions are always made at the local level, not the state level."

Kentucky's educational system is accountability-driven, so teachers generally design their lessons based on the state's Core Content for Assessment, which is content that has been identified as essential for students to know and content that will be included on the state assessment, Gross said.

The Core Content includes the teaching of scientific theory and the theory of evolution.

They also use the Program of Studies, a state document that outlines the minimum content required for all students before graduating from Kentucky high schools.

The actual presentation of the theory is a local decision, Gross said. Teachers may use textbooks or other materials to explain evolution or any other scientific theory, she said, and teachers may discuss intelligent design, the theory that life is so complex that an intelligent being must have played a role in designing it.

Jennifer Mrozowski




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