Opinion: Physical Education Reform Needed in Schools

Marion Herbert's picture
Monday, August 6, 2012

I read with interest StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee's "sounding the alarm" commentary on the "harmful policies" in our educational system, but I was stunned that she didn't mention reforming physical education as a key element for our future success ("Column: Olympic effort needed for education").

We are witnessing another generation of our sedentary children becoming increasingly obese, at high risk for diabetes, negative body image and self-esteem, and plagued by attention-deficit disorder, as well as other psychological problems. We know from the work of John Ratey and others that consistent physical exercise effectively prevents and often reverses these and other chronic conditions.

How can we not invest massively in physical education to help our current students and prevent kindergartners from becoming statistics? How can we not use our sizable fund of knowledge in exercise and its benefits to tailor physical education to individual interests, sensitivities and capacities? 

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