As if I didn't have enough reason to hate NCLB, now comes this report from the Center on Education Policy: "approximately 62% of school districts increased the amount of time spent in elementary schools on English language arts and or math, while 44% of districts cut time on science, social studies, art and music, physical education, lunch or recess."

It gets worse: according to CEP, since NCLB's enactment the average elementary school in their study has reduced the amount of instructional time devoted to science by 75 minutes per week! That's what, at least two lessons per week, on average, all because of the way this terrible, arbitrary statute has led to a lowest-common-denominator, teach-to-the-test approach. Since many states don't test science in the primary grades, guess what happens to science? In the dumpster!

NCLB must either be repealed, or massively retooled (gutted, really) if we are going to save public school education in this country. In the meantime, elementary teachers need to figure out ways to restore science content and the wonder of exploring the natural world to their curriculum, perhaps by embedding it more frequently within language arts lessons---and secondary teachers need to realize that, regardless of content area, all of us are in effect in the business of promoting literacy.

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