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You Cannot Make this Stuff Up: Elementary Student Barred from Dance Class in Order to Take Test Prep

In New York City, principals have been empowered to be the CEO’s of the school building. A big difference between these principals and CEO’s however, is that in the corporate model there is a a board of directors. More than ever, these principals operate as free agents.

So, for the time being, if a principal doesn’t want to support arts education, there’s not much that’s going to happen to change that. They really have no supervisors in a traditional sense. Most people view this as double-edged sword.

Some people think the narrowing of the curriculum is a myth. I think the most credible take on it is that the narrowing had already occurred before NCLB and that NCLB’s effect on narrowing is most evident at low performing schools. That is indeed what the GAO found in a recent study.

One way or the other, the education-industrial-complex is built on standardized testing in math and ELA.

Okay, here’s one example of curriculum narrowing. It’s a story about a New York City fourth grader with solid test scores who has been barred from taking an after school dance class in order to focus on test prep.

With no one to go to except the schools chancellor, these parents chose to take this public. They didn’t have a lot of options.

As they often say when your team loses: read it and weep.

Queens Child Devastated: She Wants to Dance But Put in Test Prep Instead, NY Daily News

Kelly did well on her report card from PS 207 last year, scoring Level 4 on the state math exam.

She passed the reading test with a Level 3, which her teacher’s comment characterized as “Meeting grade standards.”

Department of Education spokesman William Havemann
characterized the younger Kelly as scoring “a low level 3” on reading
and said the school was “ensuring that all students have the extra help
they need.”


  1. Ed in the Apple says

    How about teaching dance notation in lieu of test prep …

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