The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking feedback on proposed academic standards for Bible literacy courses in the state’s public schools.
The passage of a state law in 2017 called for the education department to create academic standards for elective social studies courses to include Hebrew Scriptures and the Old Testament; the New Testament; or Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.
“The purpose of the courses is to focus on the historical impact and literary style from texts of the Old Testament and/or New Testament era, including the Hebrew Scriptures to teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory and public policy,” state education officials said in a news release Thursday. The courses are already taught in some schools and are open to students in ninth through 12th grades.
“Though creation of the proposed Bible literacy standards involved Kentucky educators, it is time to seek additional feedback to support the continued development of these standards,” state officials said. Public feedback might be used to refine the proposed standards.
The state education department will collect initial feedback through Sunday, Dec. 10.
To provide feedback on the proposed Bible Literacy Standards, go to Surveymonkey.com/r/Bibleliteracy.
Revisions will be made before a final set of proposed standards is submitted to the Kentucky Board of Education.
As the legislation, House Bill 128, sponsored by Rep. D.J. Johnson, R-Owensboro, made its way through the 2017 General Assembly, the Kentucky Council of Churches expressed concern that the bill might not require qualified teachers for religious education, the Herald-Leader reported. The ACLU of Kentucky had said it would help students and parents to understand their constitutional rights when the bill became law.