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Narrowing Knowledge

One more study showing that, in most elementary schools, No Child Left Behind is narrowing the curriculum down to little more than reading and math.

The report, which builds on a survey released in July, finds that about 62 percent of school systems have added time for math or English instruction in elementary grades since 2002. The systems added, on average, three hours of math or reading each week.

Most of those systems reported “substantial cuts” in time for other subjects or activities, including social studies, art and music, science, physical education, recess and lunch, according to the study. Among the systems that added time for math and reading and trimmed other areas, more than half cut at least an hour and 15 minutes a week from science.

The survey, completed in 2006 and 2007, represents systems nationwide, urban and rural, large and small.

This is reflective of the common attitude in our education system that you can’t consider anything in step 2 until you completely understand everything in step 1.

You can’t learn history until you pass the reading test. Science will mean nothing until you’re successful with the standardized math test.

Knowledge and learning is not that linear. Some would argue that it’s not very linear at all.

nclb, education, curriculum

1 Comment

  1. Benjamin Baxter

    There is some truth: You can’t do much of anything until you’re reasonably literate. At some schools, there is no reasonable literacy.

    I don’t mind interventionist approaches as long as there aren’t minutes being cut from other non-core subjects. That’s where we go wrong.


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