Where's the orchestra?
Who says Florida schools increasingly teach to the test? Students at Varela Senior High in Miami, that's who. In the school's recent issue of its student newspaper, columnist Nastassia Alayeto bemoans the loss of her school orchestra as a victim of FCAT. "According to a district mandated rule, orchestra and other fine and performing arts classes do not contribute to the FCAT, and supposedly provide no support for the exam," she writes. But Alayeto begs to differ: "Studies have shown that music, and particularly orchestra, when taught by certified instructors can significantly improve the overall abilities of a student, and especially their reading and language skills." To read more, click here.