Thursday, February 21, 2008

More NCLB News - Impact on Subjects Beyond Reading and Math

The Center on Education Policy just released the results of a study that indicate 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. This survey of 349 school districts nationwide shows that more teaching time is being devoted to math and science while time is cut for social studies, science, music and art. Here are some highlights.
  • In the six years that the No Child Left Behind law has been in effect, 62 percent of the school districts surveyed had increased the amount of time spent in elementary schools on reading/English language arts and/or math. Those districts, on average, added 141 minutes a week to reading, while others added 89 minutes a week, on average, to math.
  • About 44 percent of the districts increased time for reading and/or math while cutting time spent for elementary school science, social studies, art and music, physical education, lunch or recess. On average, time spent in those subjects was cut by 32 percent.
  • The average time for social studies decreased by 76 minutes per week, 57 minutes per week in art/music, 50 minutes per week in recess and 40 minutes per week in physical education.
While I'm all for enhanced instruction in reading and math, I don't value it at the expense of other areas of instruction. You can download the full report, entitled Instructional Time in Elementary Schools: A Closer Look at Changes for Specific Subjects.

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