Physical Education In The Public School Setting

1068 words - 4 pages

Physical Education programs in publics schools has long been a source of disappointment and stagnant development. As the average rate of an urban youth continues to rise, little is being done within the school setting to meet the growing need for active involvement. School system leaders overlooks physical health due to the need to cut spending and increase test scores, all the while losing sight that school is the place where youth spend most of their time and gain most of their development. Schools and school systems are not only responsible for nourishing the mind, but also maintaining the health of the body, and this is where physical education programs are at the forefront. Physical education is as vital a component of the school day as classroom time, but it is constantly losing its value. School system regulations, conflicting program implementation by teachers, and student engagement are the backbone of the problem and the first sources of the solution.
Many urban school systems often struggle to find the balance between meeting academic quotas while maintaining a balanced school environment that includes recreational time. In efforts to improve test scores, some school systems have considered shortening, or eliminating physical education. However, what they fail to realize is the proper physical education can help students reach their full academic potential and exhibit positive behavior in the classroom (Strong et al., 2005). In a study, conducted by Hammerschmidt, Tackett, and Golzynski et al. (2005), surveying teachers at low-income schools in Michigan, results showed that 50% of high school teachers felt that a lack of funding was the major barrier to proper physical education programs in inner city schools. Results also showed that 69% of K-8 teachers felt that the greatest barrier for proper physical education within the academic setting was a lack of time (Hammerschmidt et al., 2005). If physical education is shown to help improve academic performance, and teachers feel that more time and money is needed for education, than perhaps school leaders should listen and enhance physical education programs instead of continuing to pull the motivational rug from under these vital programs. The need to have the scores are valid and obvious, because without proper scores the schools run the risk of state takeover, but perhaps they need to go about accomplishing this goal using a different avenue. Pumping more money into implementing rigorous physical education programs that motivate and engage students will give them a positive outlet, and a reason for wanting to come to school. Once you get them interested in coming to school, than you can began to stress not only physical, but also educational achievement. Pushing students physically by teaching them ways to stay active, and by challenging them to try new things, might translate into more highly motivated students who are more willing to face challenges that they might encounter in the...

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