Behind the Headlines: D.C. schools fitness plan fine if class time remains intact

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D.C. schools fitness plan fine if class time remains intact
12/28/09 | The Washington Post

Behind the Headline
Not Your Father’s PE
Fall 2006 | Education Next

The D.C. Council has introduced a bill that would require all public schools (including charters) to ensure that students in grades K-8 have 30-45 minutes per day of physical education. Jay Mathews argues that D.C. schools should instead be focused on using the limited time they have with their students to boost academic skills. A study published in Ed Next in 2006 examined how differences in state requirements for PE affect the amount of time students spend exercising in PE class, the levels of overall physical activity, and the weight of high-school students. “The results,” the authors conclude, “lead us to doubt the effectiveness of education reforms that merely target time spent suited up for gym class.”

In “Don’t Sweat It,” which also appears in the Fall 2006 issue of Ed Next, Bob Cullen visits several schools to assess the likelihood that schools can help stem the obesity tide.

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