The Ed. Department’s Read on Curriculum Research

July 26, 2007 1 min read

In yesterday’s post on the new report from the Center on Education Policy, I cited the education secretary’s statement referring to “much other evidence” that shows schools are adding instructional time rather than taking it away from subjects other than reading and math.

Curious, I e-mailed Press Secretary Katherine McLane and asked her to show me the research. Here’s a summary of her response:

McLane wrote that data from the 2003-04 school year in the department’s School and Staffing Survey show that instructional time in grades 1-4 increased by two hours a week over the previous 15 years.

Citing the National Longitudinal Study of NCLB, she said 25 percent of elementary schools increased instructional time for all students from 2003-04 to 2004-05. Just 2 percent or less decreased instruction of arts, music, or physical education, by half hour or more per week, the survey said.

RAND Corp.'s recent survey of three states shows that the increased emphasis on reading and math is “not very dramatic, and probably the result of proper focus on curricular goals,” McLane wrote.

That’s the department’s 2 cents. I’m sure people in the field have a perspective on this. Any comments from curriculum directors, teachers, parents?

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