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Question of the day

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017

* SJ-R

State lawmakers are being asked to leave schools’ physical education requirements out of the “grand bargain” budget resolution that’s being negotiated in the Illinois Senate.

Senate Bill 13, one of the bills that are packaged in the “grand bargain,” primarily focuses on a property tax freeze. But it also allows school districts to reduce physical education requirements to three days a week, and would expand exceptions available to high school students who participate in extracurricular physical activities.

At an event in Springfield Wednesday, former U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart of Belleville, a retired Army major general, said he applauds bipartisanship in solving the state’s budget crisis, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to roll back the country’s national readiness.

“Do we really want to do that, when we have a statewide and a nationwide epidemic of obesity?” Enyart asked. “Let’s not have a setback in our national readiness, and in our national health. PE is essential to our public education system, and is part of the state’s duty to our nation.”

* The Question: Should the state allow schools to cut back PE to three days per week? Click here to take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Winnin' - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    No. PE is th best part of the day for many kids. Glad that schools were forced to stop stuffing sugary drinks and snacks down kids’ hatches just to make more money from vendors.

  2. - Shark Sandwich - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    Absolutely no. K-12 need opportunities to exercise.
    The national security angle is an interesting one, much like how they designed some food programs in response to how many draftees showed up to WW2 malnourished.

  3. - Bogey Golfer - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    Voted ‘Yes’, with reservation. The critical word is allow. In wanting to keep activities (athletic and art) in the schools, they need something to consider to reduce if needed. Districts will be facing difficult choices and I feel their hands shouldn’t be tied on all issues.

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    PE is part of the state’s duty to our nation?

    Dodge ball does produce a bit of a battlefield environment that helps hone a killer instinct.

    OTOH, I once had to learn how to square dance in PE. That was just cruel and of no educational value whatsoever.

    PE is the backbone of our public education system. Who knew?

  5. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Yes. With all the research showing kid sleep deprivation and the potential benefits of starting school later, we should have some experimentation where PE is eliminated altogether and school starts one period later.

  6. - A guy - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Yep. Allow it. 3 days a week isn’t eliminating it, and other things of far greater importance have been reduced or cut.

  7. - Annonin' - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:48 pm:

    The general is correct. Kids need more physical activity not less

  8. - Retired - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    Voted no. Sound bodies, sound minds. However, PE curricula needs to be improved to include activities which can be life long.

  9. - Robert Montgomery - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    One period of exercise or other activity per day is good to clear the mind and allow kids to expend some energy.

    @47th Ward - I believe the educational value of your PE experience is that you learned you didn’t like square dancing.

  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    No Doubt exercise is a healthful thing, but obesity is a hormonal problem. The simplistic calories in vs. Calories out explanation is dated and I believe will be elaborated on to expose more home hormonal influence by things such as insulin.

  11. - Not It - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    I had trouble voting, but I would point out two things:

    First, the point here is to provide flexibility to cut costs.

    Secondly, I would rather have 3 really good exercise classes with truly rigorous workouts, then 5 classes that are so quick there is no real benefit.

    In my PE by the time we changed clothes and ran a single mile we had to change again. A single mile is not a good workout.

  12. - titan - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    Exemptions for kids in competitive non-school sports makes sense. My kids competed in high level non-school sports (coached by former Olympians and professional athletes) - they got way more fitness boost from that than gym class, and could have better used that time for more study (or even sleep).

  13. - Timmeh - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    ==Senate Bill 13, one of the bills that are packaged in the “grand bargain,” primarily focuses on a property tax freeze. But it also allows school districts to reduce physical education requirements to three days a week, and would expand exceptions available to high school students who participate in extracurricular physical activities==

    I voted no (to the state allowing schools to opt out of every day PE), but if it came with a reasonable grand bargain, then yes.

  14. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    My home state only had three days per week PE when I was a kid. (And our country’s national readiness was unaffected such that we were able to keep России at bay until very recently.)

    – MrJM

  15. - Linus - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 1:59 pm:

    Nope. Kids today need all the encouragement they can get to break away from their video games and exercise a bit. If schools can mandate civics and English and other subjects for the good of kids’ brains, they can mandate a little PE for the good of their bodies and physical development, too.

  16. - Sox Fan - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    My catholic high school education only required 1 semester of PE freshman and sophomore year. Didn’t see a problem with that back then and don’t see a problem now. Of course, I was invloved in athletics back then, so getting physical activity was not a problem.

  17. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    What is the requirement (if any) for private schools? I know one around here with 2 day per week PE.

  18. - Downstater - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    Yes- would prefer local school districts have more control over stuff like this. Isn’t this why we have school boards?

  19. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    Schools don’t mandate civics anymore. That’s criminal IMO.

  20. - PE is Important - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    Kids do better in class after physical activity. Kids behave better in school after physical activity. Daily PE teaches kids to be active members of a team.

  21. - FBN - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    Physical Education has changed immensely in the past 10-15 years. Students do learn lifelong wellness skills. We need to do more to combat the largest growing consumer(17%) of USA GDP

  22. - UISer - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    In 2005 our PE consisted of walking around the high school grounds. It’s a joke. Most of the PE teachers are over paid because they also coach a sport. Cutting it back will not increase obesity.

  23. - Adam Becker, CLOCC - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    There is substantial research to show that physical education delivered to students of all ages five days a week contributes significantly to academic achievement AND to health and wellness. PE also helps students develop the physical and social skills they need to integrate physical activity into their lives beyond school years. Therefore, PE is just as important a component of a child’s education as other subjects. Over the long-term, including PE contributes to a health and productive workforce and helps save healthcare costs by emphasizing prevention through promoting an active lifestyle.

  24. - Curl of the Burl - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    I would normally say “no” but if voting this down leads to the grand bargain unraveling then the answer has to be “yes”.

  25. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    PE is important, especially with how fat kids are these days.

  26. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===I believe the educational value of your PE experience is that you learned you didn’t like square dancing===

    But I knew that before the class even started.

  27. - Interim Retiree - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    I voted yes - schools need flexibility. Students who don’t like/avoid PE now will only have to bring silly excused notes from home 3 days per week rather than 5!

  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    Mandatory PE is just a gym teacher guarantee program.

  29. - A Jack - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    No. When higher ed gets destroyed, them kids are going to need big muscles to dig ditches.

  30. - Ripaten - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    Education is about creating a “well-rounded” student…and that is NOT to mean well-rounded around the mid-section! The benefits of regular daily physical education are numerous, research supported, have a direct correlation to learning and are critical for the overall health and well-being of our kids.

  31. - Mark Peysakhovich, - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    No! A “Grand Bargain” that shortchanges kids’ health is not much of a bargain at all. Unfortunately, people who hated “gym” 20-30 years ago are making decisions about today’s PE. Today’s PE is more health club than dodge-ball and it a need, not a want….

  32. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    I agree for the need, the issue is that some schools don’t have the facilities to provide a PE curriculum to all students five days a week. That is one reason so many districts seek waivers each year.

  33. - Doug - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    Get rid of the requirement all together. Let the kids decide for themselves once they reach High School… you know how much bullying goes on in PE?

  34. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    Yes, Kids are more health conscious than ever before, even with all of the video games. Consumption of soft drinks is way down and most of our students are involved in extra curricular activities and train year round. Allow it to be a district choice.

  35. - Springfieldish - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    Absolutely No! There is a direct correlation between physical activity and academic performance. Does Rauner actually want lower performing, more obese kids? Yeesh!

  36. - Tommy Parisi - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    Student anxiety, depression, suicide rates, negative behavior, truancy rates, bullying and obesity are all on the rise due to the environments our students live in. It is medically and scientifically proven that daily physical activity will directly off sets these areas students currently struggle with. A students has to be physically and mentally healthy if they are to learn to their full potential.

  37. - Bobby Catalpa - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:40 pm:


    Please. Biggest waste of my high school education was spent in mandatory PE. Thing was — and this was downstate — no one did anything. We sat around on bleachers. We sometimes shot hoops. We did homework. We read Camus and Rand and Voltaire — and made fun at the jocks who played shirts and skins and thought they were something special.

    Then we went back into the locker room. We changed. We stood in line until the bell rang.

    The bell rang. And then we went to our next class.

    Yeah, that was time well spent.

  38. - Jocko - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    I’m on the fence, but inclined to say “no”. Keep this up and school will look like those scenes from Pink Floyd: The Wall.

  39. - Anon221 - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    Yes. Allow for choice. If a minimum number of exercise and wellness hours are what you want kids to have, then perhaps have before and after school structured gym classes kids could take to fulfill that requirement. Let them be able to count as activities those out of school classes they may be enrolled in like ballet or soccer. Treat it like a graduation requirement. X many hours required per semester. I know I did more strenuous work before and after school growing up working on our farm than I ever did in PE, but still had to go to PE every day when (especially in HS) I could have taken some more college prep classes.

  40. - Claudio Torres - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    Daily PE is what got me through High School. I feel that it is a way to relieve yourself from the daily stress of being a teenager. Students need to be healthy, and through daily exercise they are able to keep moving and learn a ton more than the 90s. The school I teach at has a curriculum like no other and I’m amazed at what these students are learning at such a young age during PE. Daily PE without a doubt is the best way to go.

  41. - NoNews - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:45 pm:

    I had PE every day as a child/high school student. Mostly I didn’t enjoy it because I was not an athlete. Lots of times I tried to get out of it. But I vote no because you know what? It didn’t take away from my academics. I still got into a good college, got a degree, and spent 50 minutes in some sort of activity every day. I wish there was mandated time for exercise as an adult.

  42. - kitty - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:48 pm:

    No. General Enyart said it best.

  43. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:48 pm:

    I voted no. I loved PE. But I guess I was kind of a jock. I guess you could make it 3 days a week… as long as all those people who did not participate were forced to participate in the sports and exercise instead of doing homework or walking around the track chatting with friends. You get out of it what you put into it.

  44. - DuPage - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    Back in the 1960s, I learned that some math and science teachers salaries were being reimbursed by the federal government as part of a military readiness spending bill. (Sputnik woke them up). Perhaps that sort of a federal funding source could be added to the next defense budget. Durbin, Duckworth, see what you can do.

  45. - Huh? - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:51 pm:

    Where else is sex ed going to be taught under the euphemism of “Health”?

  46. - Flaming Liberal - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:53 pm:

    There are kids who get PE three times a week?? My kindergartener gets PE only once a week. Kids need to be active in order to learn!
    “The more time kids in Grade 1 spent sitting and the less time they spent being physically active, the fewer gains they made in reading in the two following years. In first grade, a lot of sedentary time and no running around also had a negative impact on their ability to do math.”

  47. - Sue - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    We all know why we have State mNdated PE- and it’s not to fight obesity. The IEA which for the most part rules Springfield wants to assure job protection for its members. What a shock

  48. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    Absolutely not! Permanently diminishing physical education requirements will deprive students of instructional time that is critical for developing motor, movement, and behavioral skills that are essential for the lifelong maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, brain research provides concrete data about the physiological effects the brain experiences during exercise and establishes the link between movement and learning. Bottom line: exercise is good for the mind and body.

    The vast majority of kids do not get enough exercise outside of school. Quality physical education programs provide students with a fitness-based curriculum where students are exposed to life-long fitness activities and teach students how to construct fitness plans for their lifestyle and activity preferences that address the five components of health-related fitness.

  49. - Reluctantly Living in ILL - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    I think kids should be moving about WAY more than they are… So many behavior issues derive from kids being forced to sit too long. It’s not what any of us are meant to do.

    That said, WHO CARES??? The state is crumbling. This seems like the least of our worries.

  50. - gopower - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    Is there any actual evidence that PE classes improve kids’ health (much less their military readiness)? Or that five classes a week does more than three (or two)?

    Buehler? Buehler?

  51. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:13 pm:

    No, please do not diminish the amount of physical activity kids need. Research consistently shows many benefits of physical activity and especially it’s positive impact on brain functioning and emotional well being.

  52. - Kat Brown - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    With obesity and all its relatives on the rise, we cannot afford to cut back on P.E. Preventive medicine such as PE is less expensive than the costs of obesity, diabetes and the like.

  53. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    voted no. two words…childhood obesity

  54. - Von Lotz - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    We currently have a waiver system in place. Most elementary schools don’t meet the mandate, and there exemptions already exist for Varsity Athletes and the like.

    I find it humorous that people who had subpar experiences, extrapolate that to how PE is taught across the state.

  55. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    Voted yes. Physical Education is important.

    P.E. classes as they are run at some schools by football/basketball coaches aren’t so important.

  56. - Lynwin - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    NO. There is a direct correlation between movement and brain activity. When bodies move, minds soar. Physical movements carve out and strengthen brain patterns. Movement also releases endorphins that fight feelings of sadness and anxiety. Movement is a stress reliever. Kids should have an opportunity EVERY DAY to put down their electronic devices and move their bodies. In this age of sedentariness and obesity eliminating a PE from a child’s routine is neglectful and downright wrong.

  57. - Moon - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    With the rapid increase in technology helping children stay inactive at home, we will need PE in the schools more than ever!

  58. - denideni - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:46 pm:

    One of the only things to be proud of these days of Illinois public schools. Don’t cut the funding. PE and ART are so important for kids to learn growing up.

  59. - A guy - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    ==two words…childhood obesity==

    Keep seeing posts that allude to this. This is where we are mandating PE 5 times a week. Should we mandate 10 periods a week for this reason?
    Of course not.
    Schools need more flexibility and fewer mandates. Let the locals decide on this.

  60. - CrazyHorse - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    Voted a strong Yes. Red Light Cameras were about as effective in reducing collisions as P.E. is when it comes to preventing obesity. It’s a joke. Let’s be honest. Is a half-hearted effort during a week of badminton really altering a trajectory towards obesity? I’m not for eliminating it entirely but let’s stop with the BS arguments against obesity. If the Rep. had merely said that kids need a daily escape from the classroom I’d be more prone to agree. Just. Be. Honest.

  61. - Rand - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    Do not cut PE in schools. Fitness in youngsters leads to confidence.

  62. - Telly - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    Reluctantly voted yes. I see the need for PE, but if giving school districts the flexibility to cut back is the price to pay for the passage of the grand bargain, it’s worth it.

  63. - Rand - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    And btw, all of the negative comments about how bad PE was in “my days” is reflective of how ignorant American has become. Wake up!

  64. - Kane county - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    No!!! I can’t imagine my children not having physical education. It is the one time in a day where my daughter is encouraged to compete and learn skills that will teach her to be fit after school. Physical activity decreases depression and anxiety and I would rather my daughter has PE than a pill to help with these things. PE is not the physical education most of us grew up with. Lessons and board approved curriculum meet highly regarded state standards that were approved by the state of Illinois. Absolutely NO! Keep our children moving!

  65. - Rnowser - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    With the high obesiety rates the kids need more physical activity not less.

  66. - notbuyingit - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:32 pm: long have we had 5 days PE per week and has really reduced obesity? If not, allow cuts.

  67. - enoughalready - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    How about instead of PE, all HS students are required to “walk the district” for their elected representatives? Seems like we could kill two birds with one bill.

  68. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:43 pm:

    PE is absolutely necessary K-8, as any parent will tell you. Those lovable lunatics will bounce off the walls if they don’t burn some energy during the day.

    High school, not so much.

    –Dodge ball does produce a bit of a battlefield environment that helps hone a killer instinct.–

    My freshman year in high school, I got placed in a senior gym class.

    That was cool, since most of the seniors in my town respected the tradition of skipping gym to drink beer and get high in the woods across the street.

    Except when it rained. That was Bombardment Day.

    One of my brothers had been a senior the year before. My freshman year was payback time, my head was on a swivel, all year, everywhere.

    First Bombardment Day, the seniors got everyone out but me, gathered all the balls and then unloaded on me like Santino Corleone at the toll booth.

  69. - CEA - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:50 pm:

    Absolutely. The least the state can do is leave minor curriculum decisions up to local districts. And whether to require P.E. three or five hours a week is about as minor as decisions get.

  70. - Jack Jackson - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:51 pm:

    Voted “NO.” Kids need PE as well as team sports, drama clubs, debate team, etc. etc. etc.

    Young people need more, not less, in our schools. Faulty argument that Illinois can’t afford it.

    Personal income tax rates similar to those in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota would help us meet our obligations to provide a well-rounded education these students.

  71. - Concerned Dad - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 5:05 pm:

    No- physical education allows students to learn about how they can lead healthy lifestyles, cooperate with others (teamwork), have fun, use exercise to cope with stress, AND if that isn’t enough, research shows exercise helps develop brain cells and increase learning!! Besides, wouldn’t the removal of teachers in one area cause an increase of teachers in another (have to have someplace for students to go)? So, that would cost money too!

  72. - Morty - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 5:43 pm:

    Sue, are you perchance related to Jack Roeser? I only ask because I’ve never seen anybody with such a silly overesritmation of the powers of the IEA since Jack shed his mortal coil

    IEA runs Springfield? You are either hyperpartisan or you haven’t paid much attention to this blog over the last ten years or so

  73. - Morty - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 5:48 pm:

    No, the state should not be able to cut back on physical education. There’s plenty of research that shows brain function increases with consistent perioditic exercise.

    Also, the purspose of schools should be to be to promote life long learning and good habits. The fact that this does not always ’stick’ does not mean it isn’t important to try.

  74. - Robert E. - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 7:00 pm:

    PE has a spot in the day, and it should remain where it is for the fact it is the only class you will use for the rest of your life. After a person gets out of the college type years and starts a family it is about living as long as we can and having all the tools necessary to do that starts with healthy choices taught in PE. We only have 1 billion beats of our heart and learning to get a lower resting HR will help to extend our lives and make us more productive longer. Having too many students in the classrooms that should be in a PE class will diminish the effectiveness of the classroom they are in. Also with the rise of cardio vascular disease and health premiums we need PE to do what it is suppose to do, teach healthy habits and allow for some activity to stimulate the brain and body. If you do not use you lose it

  75. - Sandy Noel - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 7:53 pm:

    NO! PE is definitely more than sports and square dance (which is the State Dance!) In Illinois, PE is “enhanced” and currently entails:
    1. changing curricula and classroom practices so that ALL students spend more time in moderate to vigorous physical activity,
    2. ensuring that all students participate regardless of ability by recreating traditional games and having small sided games.
    3.Teaching health-related fitness to develop life-long skills for physical activity and nutrition.
    Experiencing “Enhanced PE” classes benefits each student’s health, learning, and behavior. PE yields a significant return on investment!

  76. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 9:31 pm:

    So it turns out school administrators and the ILGOP have teamed up with ISIS to weaken America through reduced PE for public school students.
    Any other questions for former Congressman Enyart?

  77. - Bill Casey - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 10:31 pm:

    For many children, P.E. is sadly the only physical activity they receive daily. Seeing how obesity is not getting any better, why would we want to remove something we know counters it? Removing P.E. will just increase obesity and poor health to an even worse state. Those who are saying “eliminate it because P.E. has been in place and obesity has not gotten better” is on the same level of saying that there are still criminals in the world so we should stop prosecuting crimes.

  78. - Brain Gains - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 11:00 pm:

    It is unfortunate seeing a few of the comments from individuals who had negative experiences back in their PE experience. However, they must also understand that what they experienced was the “old PE”, which although it was effective in meeting many of its objectives had numerous flaws.

    I voted to keep PE 5 days a week. PE today is about more than just getting kids moving. Physical activity and physical education are NOT the same thing. PE today incorporates many concepts of biology, anatomy, physiology, and other aspects of science. It incorporates literacy concepts to read, write, and apply concepts related to their lives.

    PE is NOT about the sport or the game as much as it is what you get out of it! Its not about whether about you know the rules of basketball; its what intensity do I have to work at to improve my cardiorespiratory conditioning? It’s not about can I square dance like a pro; they’re processing information on the fly, working with people as a team, sharpening various skill related fitness components all while walking between 1 and 2 miles (or more) in the hour that they’re working. It’s not about just going into the weight room and just lifting weights from a workout on the board; it’s making the kids understand how to create a workout using ANY activities and achieve their goals once they’re out of school and are done with sports and don’t have their coaches writing everything for them.

    That’s a lot of indirect learning! Learning and growing when sometimes you don’t even realize it is occurring. Couple that with structured lessons that involve discussion, application, and assessment. Physical Education involves LEARNING while physical activity is simply movement, which is just one component of a PE class environment.

    Not to mention the plethora of science out there that backs up the incredible amount of mental health benefits from MVPA exercise. If the students buy into the lesson and really do the work, they have significant adjustments to their mental processing due to the positive impact on their neurotransmitters. That means more focused students in the rest of their class. Students who learn and retain information better. Students who have elevated and more stable mood. Students, who in this day and age are getting hammered with stressors and anxiety from everywhere, are basically taking the equivalent of a natural anti-depressant/mood enhancer. The students may not like every activity, but if they put in the work they will definitely get a reward far greater than just burning some calories.

    But don’t take my word for it; feel free to check with the mountain of research that supports it. If you feel that you know more than the science available out there, feel free to strike up a discussion with the Harvard School Psychiatry and watch as Dr. Ratay and anyone else knowledgeable in neuroscience and exercise physiology rattle off enough supportive information than you can handle.

    PE is the only subject that teaches you how to use and maintain a tool you’ll use for the rest of your life: your body. We should be teaching our students each and everyday how to make it an even better machine, from our body to our brain. PE belongs in schools every single day, and an effort to take that valuable time away in any capacity will directly impact the well-being and academic performance of our students.

    There are SO many more reasons and scientifically supported statements that can be left here, but it would turn this short post into a short book. I hope our politicians can continue to support PE, as the cost of losing it would be catastrophic to one of our most valuable state resources: our children.

  79. - Just Dance - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 7:00 am:

    Kids need physical activity throughout their day. For some kids, Pe is the only time they are active throughout the day. Exercise leads to increase in brain activity, reduced stress/anxiety, team building skills, cooperation, and so much more. Physical Education teaches fitness components and how to live a healthy life! It is not roll out the ball anymore! Open your eyes to the obesity epidemic. Students are learning what the effects of not exercising has on your body.

  80. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 7:16 am:

    Just Dance. If they are learning so much, hows come the obesity numbers. PE has been around for decades.

  81. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 8:05 am:

    No if anything increase the training (Half the kids in PE do practically nothing half the time). They need to make it more regimented so that some of these kids at the HS level in particular actually get something out of it.

  82. - JJT - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    Daily Physical Education is vital to our kids’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Gone are the days of dodge ball! Our kids are using heart-rate monitors, rock-climbing, learning how to lift weights properly, using cardio equipment such as treadmills, rowers, ellipticals, participating in activities such as modified “cross-fit”. They are ACTIVE. They are having fun. They participate in the traditional sports but often the sports are modified to small teams so every kid participates, not just the “athlete”. Being active and FIT is the goal. My kids are multi-sport athletes and if they had a choice to “waive” PE, they would not. PE offers more than fitness. It is an outlet for their mental well-being, an opportunity to have fun when school and travel sports may be stressful. Daily PE is vital to every single child.

  83. - Kirsten - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    There is strong research that demonstrates improved test scores after physical activity. PE also teaches kids to find activities they enjoy…it introduced my daughter to volleyball and she has been on a team for several years. With our childhood obesity crisis, exposure to a variety of physical activities is critical to keeping our kids moving.

  84. - Obesity 101 - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    PE should be everyday. For those who keep whining about how obesity hasn’t been eradicated from it, you ARE aware that those PE teachers aren’t responsible for what they put on their plate, right? They educate about ways PE can be used to enhance their bodies and mind. The physical activity in class helps combat some of the atrocious diets that the kids have. A parent who is feeding their kid garbage at home and allowing them to buy pizza and slop at school shouldn’t expect to see their kids lean and mean. They need to work with the educators on their end of the bargain. They are supposed to help them with their homework and studies, right? Well their role for that in PE is to watch what they serve their kids for meals.

    Expecting PE to completely eradicate obesity is just ignorant. It’s doing more than some people realize just to minimize the damage that their lifestyles have, and if parents aren’t reinforcing concepts in PE then they are doing a detriment to their children’s health and they need to shoulder the blame instead of just pointing the finger.

    Parents who take an active role on their children’s schooling have kids who show far higher academic ability than peers who get little to no support. The same concept applies to the development and maintenance of their body.

    If you hear you’re supposed to take your car for an oil change on a regular basis and never do it, you don’t get to blame the mechanic when the car doesn’t run well or the engine blows

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