From the New York Times:
"The survey, by the Center on Education Policy, found that since the passage of the federal law, 71 percent of the nation's 15,000 school districts had reduced the hours of instructional time spent on history, music and other subjects to open up more time for reading and math."
Social studies courses are often uniquely situated to help student learn about critical interpretation, the bias of time and culture, and our place in the course of history. Electives provide opportunities for students to create, try new skills or subjects, explore other subjects in more depth and even find activities that they can enjoy without specific academic expectations. One wonders if public schools become more constricted if this will drive students into more out of school (e.g. distance learning, apprenticeship) opportunities.
Reading and conventional K-12 math courses also aren't going to cut it for 21st century spatial or design-minded thinkers.
NYT: Schools Cut Back Subjects to Push Reading and Math