Chopped budgets and an increased focus on testing have made field trips, once a popular way to get students out of the classroom, increasingly rare.
"Local school districts don't have the funds anymore," says Stephanie Norby, director of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian museums are some of the most popular field trip destinations in the country. Although there is little hard data to definitively prove that schools are taking fewer field trips, Norby says it seems as though fewer schools have visited the Smithsonian in recent years. "For local schools, I think it's become more difficult for them to take trips."