In defense of Common Core as a means for deeper understanding
LA School Report | August 28, 2015
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By Natalie Wexler
Standardized tests are commonly blamed for narrowing the school curriculum to reading and math. That’s one reason Congress is considering changes in the law that could lead states to put less emphasis on test scores. But even if we abolished standardized tests tomorrow, a majority of elementary schools would continue to pay scant attention to subjects like history and science.
Consider this: In 1977, 25 years before No Child Left Behind ushered in the era of high-stakes testing, elementary school teachers spent only about 50 minutes a day on science and social studies combined. True, in 2012, they spent even less time on those subjects — but only by about 10 minutes.
While critics blame the Common Core for further narrowing curriculums, the authors of the standards actually saw them as a tool to counteract that trend.
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