Teachers Stir Science, History Into Core Classes

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The Washington-based Center on Education Policy reported this year that because of No Child Left Behind 27 percent of school systems say they are spending less time on social studies, and nearly 25 percent say they are spending less time on science, art and music. Several elementary school programs have shown good results by inserting science, social studies, art and music into reading lessons, rather than removing them from the curriculum. The Core Knowledge program, based in Charlottesville, has first-graders reading about ancient Egypt and second-graders learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. New York University educational historian Diane Ravitch called it "the best national program available."

Project Bright IDEA, which has produced good test results in lower elementary grades in North Carolina, uses advanced materials such as nonfiction books and techniques used previously with just gifted students. "We believe in teaching all children from kindergarten through high school a highly academic program," said Margaret Gayle, the project's manager and co-designer.

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