Education A State Capitals Roundup

Ky. Board Changes Mind on Historical Designations

By Sean Cavanagh — June 20, 2006 1 min read

The Kentucky state board of education, reversing an earlier decision, voted last week to remove the secular historical designations B.C.E. and C.E. from its instructional guidelines for schools.

In April, the 12-member board voted to include mention of those terms in the Kentucky Program of Studies alongside the traditional designations rooted in Christianity: B.C., or “before Christ,” and A.D., for anno Domini, which is Latin for “in the year of the Lord.”

The board’s decision two months ago was based on the fact that B.C.E., or “before the Common Era,” and C.E., or “Common Era,” are preferred by many scholars and have been recognized by such major organizations as the College Board and the Smithsonian Institution. That decision drew numerous objections from members of the public and religious organizations.

On June 15, the board, which has six new members since April, voted unanimously to exclude the B.C.E. and C.E. terms, said Lisa Y. Gross, the spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education.

A version of this article appeared in the June 21, 2006 edition of Education Week