Obama Joins Chorus Saying NCLB Narrows Curriculum

March 03, 2008 1 min read

On the question of whether NCLB is narrowing schools’ curriculum, put Sen. Barack Obama in the yes column. In a Feb. 28 appearance in Beaumont, Texas, the Illinois Democrat is emphatic on the point. (Below, watch the video his campaign posted on YouTube.)

“Since the only thing that’s being tested is math and reading, we’re not teaching children a broad range of things,” he said at a rally in Beaumont, Texas, on Feb. 28. “I want kids to learn art and music and history and civics and a whole host of other things.”

Broadening the curriculum will yield dividends, he said, because children can understand math by studying music. “Children who get physical education are better focused in the classroom,” he said.

He also suggested that testing should happen at the beginning of the school year so the results can help the teacher and that accountability decisions should be made based on student growth.

Once he finished talking about NCLB and other education issues, Obama turned his attention to parents: “It doesn’t matter how much money we put in [to schools] if parents don’t parent,” he said. Joanne Jacobs wonders if Obama would name Bill Cosby his secretary of education.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.