Physical education programs fight to stay alive

By Ashlee Lensmyer
April 1, 2004

KRT Campus

At a time when adolescent obesity is at its highest, physical education programs in elementary and middle schools are being cut, as well as the programs that prepare the physical education teachers.

Most elementary and middle schools are cutting the programs due to the No Child Left Behind Act proposed by President Bush. According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education President George Graham, Ph.D. of Pennsylvania State University, “The No Child Left Behind Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2002 calls for high levels of academic accountability in curricula that are identified as ‘core’ subject areas. However, the omission of some subjects, such as physical education and health education, has the potential to create unintended negative consequences – diminishing time and resources for subjects not identified as core.”

When students do poorly on academic standardized tests, it causes the schools to lose funding, as a result of cut backs in their funding, schools choose to cut physical education programs, which are not included in standardized tests

Sophomore Mark Tripolitsotis an educational studies major, wants to someday be a physical education teacher, but feels, “it is often under minded yet it is one of the most important subjects in schools.” Not only are the children suffering from this, but also college students such as those at the University of Kansas are also dealing with the fact that their physical education license program is being cut. Students who are already in the program can finish getting their degrees, but no new students are being accepted into the program.

Opponents who are fighting to keep the programs alive feel that officials are not thinking about how in some children’s lives, physical education is the only physical activity these children take part in. “When children do not have the opportunity to get out and exercise it is going to mess up everything,” said Tripolitsiotis. Some children learn life long lessons such as teamwork and healthy lifestyles through physical education programs.

Posted to the Web by:Mark Garlit

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Ashlee Lensmyer

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