When I was in elementary school (small town Texas, '60s) we went to Music class every day. We had art most days. We put on plays and talent shows. We had two to three recesses a day. We had homework. We took one standardized test a year, and we only heard about it the day before. They told us two things. There would probably be some items we would not know, but not to worry. Just answer correctly as many as we could, sort of like a puzzle or game challenge. Also, we could chew gum that day! Guess what? Though not equally well, everyone in our class could read and write well enough to handle the grade level materials. At least, we all knew how to multiply (and the times tables through the 12's) by the end of 3rd grade and how to divide by the end of 4th. We recited poetry and knew who Leif Eriksson was. We liked school. We respected our teachers. I became a teacher.My, how things change.
There is lots of research supporting Ms. Diamonds ideas about how children learn, some of it pretty old. The problem can be summed up in a statement by a presenter during a teacher workshop I attended a good many years ago. "No one does more research than educators, and no one ignores more research than educators." (And state lawmakers.) So the business "nose to the grindstone" model of education persists.
More information about text formats