If it’s not math or language arts, it’s being crowded out: Report from advocacy group

From the advocacy group Common Core:

With the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era coming to an end and federal and state policymakers preparing for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), new research reveals that two-thirds of educators in the nation’s K-12 public schools believe that an overemphasis on English-language arts and mathematics has resulted in denying students a proper focus on other core academic subjects, such as social studies, science, foreign languages, and the arts…

The Common Core/FDR Group survey found: Two-thirds (66%) said that academic subjects other than reading and math “get crowded out by extra attention being paid to math or language arts” Math (55%) and language arts (54%) are the only two subjects getting more attention, according to most teachers In sharp contrast, about half of those surveyed said art (51%) and music (48%) get less attention, with 40% saying the same for foreign language, 36% for social studies, and 27% for science 77% of teachers who believe math and language arts crowd out other subjects say this happens across the full student body, with 21% saying it is targeted to struggling students The vast majority (81%) of elementary school teachers report other subjects are getting crowded out by extra attention to math or language arts About half (51%) of elementary school teachers say struggling students get extra help in math or language arts by getting pulled out of other classes, with the most likely subjects for pull out being social studies (48%) and science (40%) Among all teachers who say crowding out is taking place in their schools, virtually all (93%) believe that this is largely driven by state tests Almost two out of three teachers (65%) say they have “had to skip important topics in [my] subject in order to cover the required curriculum.”

 

 

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One Response to If it’s not math or language arts, it’s being crowded out: Report from advocacy group

  1. kmlisle says:

    Even math and reading are not being taught in a way that helps students understand the knowledge presented and how to actually use it to understand the world around them and to make decisions. Rather they are being trained to produce specific answers to tests. In reading children no longer actually read books and spend time exploring what the story means in their lives. Rather they read excerpts of books and learn to answer jargon laden questions about things like “compare and contrast”. In math they learn to do computations but apparently there is no longer time to help children learn to understand the meaning of their answers. As a science teacher I had my students calculate percentages in order to interpret some whole class lab data on genetic traits and then asked them whether a dominant or recessive trait was more common. Even though the dominant trait we were looking at comprised 80% of the class on average, not a single student in any of my 7th grade classes could answer that question. While all of them could calculate percentage and they all indicated understanding of dominant versus recessive traits, They had no idea what their calculations meant. High stakes testing is a tragedy for our pubic school students. we no longer educate them. We train them.

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