Reading, math crowd out untested subjects

Language arts and math are crowding out untested subjects, such as art, music, foreign language and sometimes science, say 3rd-to-12th grade public school teachers surveyed by Common Core. The problem is greatest in elementary school.

  • Among those who say crowding out is taking place in their schools, virtually all (93%) believe that this is largely driven by state tests
  • 60% say in recent years there’s been more class time devoted to test-taking skills
  • Almost two out of three teachers (65%) say they’ve “had to skip important topics in [my] subject in order to cover the required curriculum”
  • 80% report that “more and more” of the time they should be spending on teaching students is spent on “paperwork and reporting requirements to meet state standards”

Most teachers say their school is offering more help to students struggling in math and language arts.  However, the strong focus on reading and math affects all students, not just those who need extra help, according to 77% of teachers.

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  1. And this is a problem because?

  2. Art/architecture history, music appreciation, (which regular ES teachers should be capable of teaching) history, geography, good literature and the sciences are all integral parts of the kind of general knowlege (cultural literacy, if you will) that leads to success on any “reading” test at level above basic decoding. If the ed world would realize that reading/literacy is not a transferable skill but a function of subject-area knowledge, these areas would be enhanced, not neglected.

  3. Walter E Wallis says:

    If you can’t read and factor, nothing else makes any difference.

  4. Walter –your view is understandable and common-sensical, but wrong. Knowledge must precede reading comprehension ability. Showing and telling kids about the world teaches them words and concepts that enable them to understand what they read. Kids who know nothing cannot read with comprehension. Teaching content IS teaching reading. Teaching “reading skills” sounds good, but it’s a fraud. Did you learn to read by getting drilled in inference-making, using context clues, etc.? This is the nonsense being used today.

  5. Seriously? Why is this a problem? Is that a real question?