Broadening The Narrowing Debate…Dissonance At The Times

Looks like The New York Times’ editorial writers took time to read the No Child Left Behind study that the reporters apparently did not. They note:

…school districts acknowledge that the law has generated improvements, but they also assert that scary trends are afoot: a majority say that they have had to “narrow” the curriculum to focus on math and reading for children who needed to be brought up to speed.

How is that a bad thing? There is little evidence in the data, compiled by the Center on Education Policy in Washington, that schools are throwing out other crucial courses and chaining well-performing students to a narrow range of basic classes. Three-quarters of the districts say that the law has not caused them to cut back on art and music — which are typically the first to go — and a large majority assert that science instruction has remained intact.

Also, The Times ed page notes the stuff in the report that should be headline grabbing:

In this school year only about a fifth of districts say they have intensified efforts to find expert teachers for high-needs schools and only about 5 percent are offering financial incentives to attract good teachers to those schools. That will need to change if children in poor neighborhoods are to be given the chance to succeed.

I think my $500 is safe.

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