kitchen table math, the sequel: ms-teacher on history & science

Monday, February 21, 2011

ms-teacher on history & science

re: I remember nothing

As a result of NCLB, many school districts have chosen to focus on reading & math, meaning that emphasis is placed on test skills that will ensure higher test scores.

This has meant that in school districts such as where I teach, elementary schools have virtually eliminated both history & science. When students enter middle school, those who continue to score below basic or far below basic usually have a semester of science & a semester of history, where they are expected to read from on grade level (or above) expository text.

It is no surprise to me that our students are not performing well in history. Until we start emphasizing the value of all subject matters, even when they are not tested, you can expect that schools will continue to deemphasize those subjects that they don't believe boost their test scores.

Teachers hate it & yet, our hands are tied.


Tom Linehan said...

Why can't the reading lessons be history and science texts?

ms-teacher said...

Because that would make WAY too much sense for administrators.

Catherine Johnson said...

That's for sure.

Independent George said...

I've been singing the same refrain for years: untie everyone's hands, and let parents AND teachers decide where they want to be.

Anonymous said...

"...untie everyone's hands, and let parents AND teachers decide where they want to be."

Result: less focus on math and history. More focus on team sports and arts and crafts projects.


Anonymous said...

What exactly are kids reading to learn reading? I don't see why you'd have to ditch history or science to teach reading. And isn't there a lot of math in science? This is why I a big fan of the Core Knowledge curriculum.