When Samuel Rather II taught fifth-graders a decade ago, he felt pressure to raise his math test scores. So three days a week, he would spend 90-minute blocks with students teaching the subject — at the expense, he says, of other material.
“I thought my students were the best in Maryland, and I wanted the data to show that,” he says. “I would spend a lot more time on math, and just drilling those concepts, instead of getting to science as much as I would have liked.”
As principal of Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary School in West Baltimore, Rather says, he wants his teachers to avoid that pitfall.
“We’re … looking at educating the whole child,” he says. “It’ll be...