Reading and arithmetic is what state officials are focusing on since the creation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Now, that focus is extending to what students are tested on. This year the Illinois Standardized exams will be missing a few subjects.
Students won't be filling in bubbles about history and geography. The 2005 tests will be missing writing, fine arts, health and social studies.
East High School social studies teacher Scott Church says, “It doesn't make sense. We hear criticism about how our students don't know history and now the state feels that this isn't important enough to be tested?"
Our Regional Superintendent Dr. Richard Fairgrieves says this is all about money. He says the state simply doesn't have the funding to grade all the extra subjects. Since the No Child Left Behind Act many schools have been told to really spend more time on reading and math, but Mr. Church argues reading and math are can be found in our history.
Church says, "If I don't incorporate reading into my lesson then I am not doing my job. Also there are many equations that have been a part of our history."
Locally, students still in the Rockford Public School District have to pass a constitution test before they graduate, so Mr. Church doesn't fear his job, but it's yet to be determined if the state could change that requirement.
Mr. Church teaches prepares students for the standardized exams that they take in 11th grade, but this year the students will only be tested on reading, math and science.