Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Got PE?

Like milk, isn’t physical education (PE) “essential” for kids?  Doesn’t it contribute to their growth and development?  So why are so many deprived of it? 

Myth vs. reality:

“Time in PE is time away from academic pursuits – and that’s what the kids are tested in.”

The latter is true – too bad because PE should be a part of standardized testing – but the former is false.  No study has ever shown that more time in PE has a negative impact on academic achievement.  The good news?  Students don’t have to sacrifice their health for the core subjects – they can have their math and move it too.  Need proof?  Go to 

“We don’t have enough money to afford daily, quality, PE – or the credentialed teachers we need to instruct it.”

Budgets are tighter than ever.  However, it’s not a money issue – never has been.  There is money to spend – not much, not enough, but there IS money.  Budgets are always a pie to be consumed and the issue is how do you slice it?  How large a piece does PE receive -- deserve?  I believe its section should be the equivalent of the other core subjects and not a penny less – and that includes equality for class size too.  Class size for PE should be linked to class size averages for other subjects.

“Parents care about grade point averages and want their students in class and learning.”

A national survey of parents and teachers concluded that over 75% opposed eliminating PE due to budget constraints or to meet increased academic standards (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2003).   

There are more myths and contradictory realities.  The issue is clear and the time is now.  When PE programs and teachers are placed on the budgetary chopping block – speak up.  Ask if they plan to stop serving milk in the cafeteria too.  Got PE?

We’d like to hear YOUR opinions on this subject.  Wipe that milk mustache off your face and speak up!  (smiling)

-Paul Rosengard


Kyle In IL said...

Quality daily PE classes is a must! Sure reading, science, etc are important, but with all of that knowledge, still won't lead a healthy and productive lifestyle, without knowing and partaking in physical activities. For he majority of us, elementary pe classes is where we learn how to stay healthy. Outside the physical benefits of PE, are the educational benefits. It is proven that physical activities improve learning, increase test sctores, and relieves stress. Daily PE is a must!

Anonymous said...

Oracle says…How many more studies need to take place to show that healthier kids are better learners? How many research projects and studies need to take place before state education departments place PE as a core curriculum? What state will be first?
It is sad and unfortunate that in 2009 physical education/activity have not reached the pedestal of the core curriculums! As a person who understands the positive affects of physical activity on the mind, and body it blogs my brain that PE has not attained and been recognized as vital.

In today’s society, sport and dance is a multi-billion dollar market. Why not engage students in this area. It is clear that not every kid is not going to the NFL, WNBA, or to the Olympics but there are still so many other avenues in sport and dance that can be pursued!

Anonymous said...

so it is true...if every adult at work were just to sit around the whole would be dull and unproductive. So why do we want the same for our children. Studies after studies have shown physical activity is essential not only to one's health but mind...I often think...I'm have become fanatically about this subject. PE is a lifeline to many children who need activity and by eliminating it; is like taking a source-line from them.

Rick @ Green said...

Right on! or should I say "ride on". Does anyone have a bike riding curriculum for elementary school?

I teach at an Academic/Athletic Magnet. Our students are 70% transported from areas of low socioeconomic life styles. We provide 280 minutes per 10 days of physical education taught by two specialists. Our CST's have been in the 800's for many years and recently we broke the 900 barrier. Our students are testimony to 'healthy and ready to learn" through physical education as a core subject. Someone should be out here doing a field study for their thesis.
Thanks Thom, Jim and Paul et. al.

harmem said...

I do not see PE changing anytime soon. I have been teaching at the secondary level and those kids aren't a bit interested in it. The parents make excuses to exempt their kids from Physical activities. Most of the coaches are themselves obese and the teachers are always sick because they are NOT HEALTHY. Come on! unless we get the Federal government involved and make anything related to PE an important subject then let's be ready to spend another 100 years as physically unfit.

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