This Article is About
child obesity
public school districts
middle school students
physical activity
Only Small Number Of US Schools Met Phys Ed Standards: Does Your State Measure Up?
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Only Small Number Of US Schools Met Phys Ed Standards: Does Your State Measure Up?

The reports continue to pour in and none of them have good news. According to one of those reports, published in the Journal in Physical Education, there are only six states across the entire country that meet that nationwide standards for physical activity at the grade school and beyond level. The study, conducted by the University of Georgia's Kinesiology Professor Bryan McCullick shows just how lacking physical education has become. Citing child obesity numbers, McCullick cautions that this is one of many areas that most certainly must be improved on.

The National Association of Sport and Physical Education set the national guidelines for the amount of physical education which should be received by all students in public school districts with only a few exceptions for health and injury. That requirement includes 150 minutes of physical activity each week at the grade school level. The requirements for gym class or other forms of physical activity are lower for middle school students in two states but not for any of the others. Worse, there are no states in the nation that have established requirements at the high school level at all.

New Jersey has been recognized as the state with the strongest requirement in the nation, requiring a 3.75 credit for physical education toward graduation. Still, even New Jersey is falling short of the minutes for phys ed set forth by the national guideline, by almost forty minutes each week.

The guidelines do not set any level of activity nor do they define what are and are not acceptable forms of physical activity meaning that schools could accomplish some of the needed time by including recess in the time count- twenty to thirty minutes every day, but not all children are active during that time, choosing to sit on the ground or in classrooms. Others might use that time to do homework or to read, admirable from an education standpoint but counterproductive from the physical activity aspect.

Many schools have been forced to dramatically reduce or completely eliminate physical education from their budgets because of funding issues. Equipment in some schools is old and potentially dangerous while in other schools, no longer available. Others are cutting back on outdoor time because they lack the staff to provide guidance and supervision out there. And, some experts worry that the poorly worded and vague guideline may make it easier for the schools to be non compliant, simply because they do not know what may or may not qualify under the mysterious standards.


Street Talk

I guess I was lucky and attended a highly active school. I can see the reasons for not being able to make this a priority in todays budgets but the kids do need to burn off the energy.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

My high school only required one credit of PE unless you were in a sport, then it was waived. My daughter's elementary only has gym two times a week in the first half of the year and then three times in the last half.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

We had to have PE in high school. I think it's a bad idea to cut it in jr high and high school. Especially since a lot of the sports programs have been cut back so much. The kids need the activity.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Amie, excellent article. I just wrote an article for my ADD website.....It is a known fact that PE/physical fitness is a major help for ADD/ADHD kids. Simple solution for a big problem. Let kids go out and play....novel concept. Thanks for publishing this information.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

My 9 year old came to me one day and said " I wish it would stop raining, I am all hypered up and no where to go!"

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Wise child! Kids innately know what they need.

  
  about 1 decade ago
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