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Learning Less: Public School Teachers Describe a Narrowing Curriculum

Abstract

"This national survey of 1,001 3rd-to-12th grade public school teachers is an attempt to gather data about teacher behavior and classroom practice. The survey asked teachers to provide detailed reporting on what they see happening in their classrooms and schools: How are they spending class time? How does state testing affect what they do? Which subjects get more attention and which get less?

Now is a particularly good time to check in with teachers. For more than two decades, the nation has been implementing local, state, and federal standards and assessment policies in an attempt to make schools, districts, and states more accountable for student performance, and policymakers' interest in these types of reform has grown over time. It is important to know the impact of reform on the content of what students are taught. Considerable anecdotal evidence exists to suggest that current policies have had a dramatic impact on what does --and does not--get taught in today's classrooms. This survey attempts to put some numbers to those trends."

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