First, reading and math

At low-scoring Central Junior High in Pittsburg, California, students who are way behind are spending more time learning reading and math. That leaves no time for other subjects.

“They’ve forced us to focus on math and English,” (Principal Tim) Galli said. “So there are students who don’t get science or social studies.

“But here’s the equation. You can do math without knowing science. You can’t do science without knowing math. And you can do English Language Arts without knowing social studies. But you can’t learn social studies if you can’t read.”

This is an excellent story overall.

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  1. Gosh, this makes sense.

  2. I teach and have such a hard time getting to everything that must be taught each day, that I wondered how on earth I was taught the same subjects yet went to school for less time each day. So I checked my old report cards and found out that in grades 1,2, and 3 I had no science, or history/SS. Only Reading, Phonics (with some writing incorporated into them of course), Math, Art and Music. Conversely, by 7th and 8th grade we had no official reading. I do recall doing book reports, probably for English, but there was no category for reading on the report cards. Elements of literature were taught in HS, not grade/jr hi school. The thinking was, I guess, that in the younger grades more time was needed for math and language, and in the upper grades, we knew how to read by then, so no reading needed to be ‘taught’. I think it makes good sense.