Education and No Child Left Behind

Download Audio

A big new report out this week says that thousands of American schools have found one way to try to raise reading and math scores: cut back on teaching everything else. President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" program punishes schools that don't hit their marks on reading and math test scores.

Now, in a remarkable display of perhaps unintended consequences, a national survey finds 71 percent of schools squeezing out the rest. Science, social studies, history, music, art — all pushed to the margins. In some schools, it's reading in the morning, and math in the afternoon. Period.

Hear about the narrowing of the curriculum of American education to reading, writing — and testing.


Lesley-Ann Smillie, 3rd grade teacher at Douglass School (K-8) in Cinncinati, OH

Thomas Sobol, Professor of Outstanding Educational Practice at Columbia Teachers College and former New York State Education Commissioner (1987 to 1995)

Michael Petrilli, Vice President for National Programs and Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. He was a senior Bush administration official in the U.S. Department of Education who helped implement No Child Left Behind (April 2001 to May 2005).

Andrew Rotherham, co-director of Education Sector, an independent national education policy think tank and a member of the Virginia State Board of Education. He served in the White House as education adviser to President Clinton (1999 to 2000). His blog is

This program aired on March 29, 2006.


More from On Point

Listen Live