Students lose out when there’s too much focus on teaching to the test, and low-income students lose out the most, writes an English teacher in a powerful opinion piece in the New York Times. For seven years she taught classic works of literature to students who had not previously read them, but this year she’s had to replace two of her three classic book groups with a test-preparation tutorial program.
The problem is that low-income students, who begin school with a less-developed vocabulary and are less able to comprehend complex sentences than their more privileged peers, are also less likely to read at home. Many will read only during class time, with a teacher supporting their effort. But those are the same students who are more likely to lose out on literary reading in class in favor of extra test prep.