Studies prove that increased exercise result in improved test scores and learning.
Date: February 13, 2011 8:41:08 AM MSTSubject: Eliminating P.E. requirement is short-sightedSource: Education News Colorado Opinion & CommentaryAuthor: Mark Sass
Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. Take Aurora Public Schools for example. Based on recent data reported in EdNews, 55 percent of Aurora’s high school graduates need remediation when they enter college. In response to this the APS Board just voted to drop P.E. and health as required courses. The thinking is that the district needs to increase the math, science, and language requirements to get their graduates ready for college.
This is laudable on its face. Too long we have worked to get students eligible for college versus ready for college. But will increasing requirements actually do the trick?
Need to Know, a PBS show, just ran a piece on how a large, suburban school district in Illinois, Naperville High School, actually uses P.E. to improve the academic performance of students. P.E., for Naperville students, is a daily, graded requirement. And for a group of struggling students, who take a specifically designed P.E. course directly before English, they now read a half a year ahead of students in the class who opt out of the P.E. course. Students who take the P.E. class directly before their math class showed dramatic improvements on standardized math tests.
What’s my point? Educators continue to respond to challenges in education without looking at what happens in the classroom. Instead of doing a better job with the instruction that happens in the classroom we add more time in the classroom. It’s about effectiveness and as the video shows, we can be more effective with what we have without sacrificing important aspects of a student’s well-being–their physical and academic well-being.