Sunday, November 1, 2009

Test Prepping in New York and Los Angeles

Read an interesting article here --the basic premise is that students do not have enough play time at school--that nowadays students's schedules are much more structured with little 'choice' time. Here's a direct quote:
Among the findings is the fact that kindergartners in New York City and Los Angeles spend almost three hours a day engaged in reading and math instruction and test preparation, leaving fewer than 30 minutes for "choice time," or play.

Apparently teachers in New York city and LA are doing a lot of test prepping. Now, I've certainly never taught in the elementary levels, but I can definitely say that the same emphasis on test scores pervades both of the New York high schools where I have taught--one of which was an inner city school in Manhattan and the other is a high nonperforming district in Westchester county. For better or for worse, No Child Left Behind has imbued schools and teachers with a sense of the importance of standardized tests-- after all, a large factor in your school's ratings has to do with these test scores so it is only natural.

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