Did 'teaching to the test' kill Weekly Reader?
Our friends on the Whoa, Momma! parenting blog are sad to see the news that the Weekly Reader current events magazine for students won't be returning to classrooms this fall, but instead will be folded into Scholastic News. And guess what may have killed it? Tests like the FCAT.
Neal Goff, who was president of Weekly Reader from 2005 to 2010, told the New York Times that while it is tempting to see the close of Weekly Reader as another example of a shrinking print audience, he pointed to the focus on teaching to the test that has made anything other than math and reading extraneous. “There has been a general loss of teaching kids about current events,” he said. “That is something that has been squeezed out of the classroom.”
Other business analysts blame media consolidation as Scholastic absorbed its rival Weekly Reader (The first issues will be co-branded with both names). Also, Weekly Reader didn't have the cash to invest in innovations like digitial editions.
“We looked into digital and online production, but we were hamstrung due to a lack of funds,” said Keith Garton, Weekly Reader’s senior vice president of product development from 2006 to 2009, told the New York Post.
Is Goff right? Have current events been squeezed out of the classroom?