The argument that NCLB is narrowing the curriculum is not going away. Here are two items:
1. The congressional sponsors of the FIT Kids Act plan to re-introduce their bill this week. The House bill would require schools to schedule daily physical education and set a goal of providing 150 minutes a week of gym for elementary students and 225 minutes a week for secondary students. The bill also would require schools, districts, and states to report on the quality of their systems. The bill had a long list of co-sponsors in the last Congress and the support of American Heart Association. Fitness guru Richard Simmons testified for the bill at a House hearing. Here’s my account and one with video from The Washington Post.
2.) The Government Accountability Office has issued a report finding that 7 percent of schools reduced the amount of time given to arts education between 2004-05 and 2006-07. The decline was the steepest in schools serving high percentages of minority students and those that have failed to make AYP for two years. Here is one page of highlights.
One important tidbit from the GAO report: The Department of Education is underwriting research that may provide a more in-depth look at how schools are allocating instructional time. But will it be done in time to influence the next version of NCLB?
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.