Monday, February 25, 2008

Reading, math eat up class hours

Driven by stress on test scores, systems trim other subjects

The pressure for elementary schools to show progress under No Child Left Behind has come at a cost - less time is being devoted to social studies, science, art and music.

But time for reading and math has received a substantial boost, according to a study that examined 349 of the nation's school systems.

The report released yesterday by the Center on Education Policy shows that some school districts increased math and reading time by as much as 150 minutes a week, while cutting time for social studies, science, music and art by one-third.

Read more HERE

1 comment:

im1ru2 said...

I have been writing and commenting about this for months. I don't know why this is new news to anyone since it is standard procedure for our schools to only teach to tests.

This is very evident in the elementary years, 1st to 4th grade.

What is most disturbing is that in year 5 (fifth grade) these same kids will all of a sudden be required to pass test in science as part of the MSA. How, I ask, are these kids who only get very limited study in science and social studies supposed to overnight become proficient in these subjects?!

Moreover, what about just teaching well rounded core subjects, equally, so that our students (children) are learning in all areas?

We are always playing catch-up with our kids and this specific area of concern is the perfect example as to the cause. Because we only teach them what is reported/tested/bringing in the numbers/money!

The student is NEVER the consideration; yes, I said NEVER. But for parents staying on top of what the kids are learning day to day (or missing out with specific subjects) the kids would be short-changed yet again.

We can talk all we want about how well the schools are doing, but that is just a very small picture of the total. We only report what is required, which is only what is taught, which is only what is required. A vicious circle once again leaving our kids at a loss for true full core learning.

Today on one of the morning news shows (I guess in response to the Democrat debate last night?) they sent a reporter on the streets to ask under 30 folks who said it:

"Ask not what..." They could not answer!

"What is meant by or referenced by McCarthyism?" Most actually said, "is it Paul McCarthy" or "is it the Beatles"?

Are you kidding me?!

My fourth grader NEVER, EVER has science or social study homework. Always, reading, math and spelling. Then he had a mandatory science fair project?! What?

I keep all his school papers and he brings home folders of reading, spelling and math work. I have less than a dozen papers/tests/works dealing with social studies or science. He has had tests but never in his tracker has there ever been any study homework for these "tests". How come?

I mentioned it to his teacher in November and asked if it was due to the concentration on MSA and NCLB. His response; "I'm glad you understand".

This is not news and did not take a study to conclude!

Those in Education should be required to listen to parents and put the value of educating our kids ahead of their own agendas or state or national mandates.

This is absurd.