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ERIC Number: EJ917575
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0271-6062
Teaching Content Is Teaching Reading
Hirsch, E. D., Jr.
Principal, v90 n2 p10-14 Nov-Dec 2010
Every two years the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), "the Nation's Report Card," reports the nation's average reading and math scores in grades 4 and 8. Despite the strong focus on reading under the 2001 No Child Left Behind law, the recent 2009 reading scores were not statistically different from those of 2007, which had not been statistically different from previous scores back in 2002. By contrast, math scores have shown a clear upward trend in both grades 4 and 8 during the past decade. Why is it so much harder to raise reading scores than math scores? The stakes could hardly be higher. Verbal scores are highly correlated with students' life chances and contributions to society; Congress was right to place a strong emphasis on reading under the No Child Left Behind law. But that emphasis has often resulted in a narrowing of the language arts curriculum into little more than preparation for reading tests. The author argues that language arts classes should convey key background knowledge, which is the beating heart of verbal skill. This article presents research findings that, once understood, might win teachers' enthusiasm for a new approach to teaching reading--an approach that, by the way, also fits in with the new Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts that have recently been approved by about three-fourths of the states.
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). 1615 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-386-2377; Tel: 703-684-3345; Fax: 800-396-2377; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 4; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress