Saturday, September 17, 2011
Robots Get a More Well-Rounded Education
School: It's way more boring than when you were there. (Salon, 9/14/2011)
Excerpt: Forty-nine million or so American children have returned to public school classrooms that are, according to many critics, ever more boring. Preparation for increasingly high-stakes tests has reduced time for social studies and science. Austerity state and federal budgets are decimating already hobbled music, art, library and physical education budgets.
"When reading and math count and nothing else does, then less time and resources are devoted to non-tested subjects like the arts, science, history, civics and so on," education historian Diane Ravitch, a well-known high-stakes testing critic and one-time proponent, writes in an email to Salon.
Supporters of the self-described "education reform" movement counter that evaluating teachers based on test scores is the only way to ensure good teaching, and that focused attention on reading and math is necessary to boost poor students' achievement.
But the achievement gap is still wide, and there is (hotly disputed) evidence that students are afforded less time for creative inquiry.