Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Recess on the Outs

The old joke goes "What was your favorite subject in school?" Answer? Recess. Students today might not understand that joke. Recess is becoming a thing of the past. The focus now is not a well-rounded student, but in my opinion, good grades. Not the students either.

For years, students have been taking tests to determine where they stand with other students nation-wide their age and in their grade. I don;t consider this a good idea at all for various reasons. First off, you are comparing your child to others. There is no such thing as individuality anymore. And yet, we keep telling our kids to be themselves. Well, how can they when they get the message through tv, magazines and even the school that they need to conform to a certain standard? It's not just their peers pressuring them.

Second of all, these test results don't affect your childs academic placement. The results are used to rank schools nation-wide. These tests that your child eats a good breakfast for, gets to bed early for, gets nervous over, is nothing but a report card for the county. That doesn't seem fair.

This academic report card is priority. County funding is determined by where your childs school places. In order to rank high, and the students to test high, computers have been placed in schools. Many of the core subjects are being pushed at an earlier age. (My niece was reading less than a week in kindergarten.) Homework takes on the average for an Elementary student 1-2 hours a night. And, to make room for this learning, students are forgoing recess. the morning and afternoon recess is a thing of the past.

How is it that parents, teachers, the pediatricians and even WHO is complaining about the lack of exercise in students and yet no one will hold the schools accountable for their lack of contribution? I know the diets of many students are bad. That aside, if the morning and afternoon recess was reinstituted, that would be between 30-90 minutes of fresh air the students would be getting a day. Ritalin may be a thing of the past. Our kids would be healthier. Their concentration would be better. They would be getting a good portion of Vitamin D through the sun and also a powerful anti-depressent.

But no. Your child is denied this so your county can score higher on their "report cards." When are we going to stop prostituting the kids out to benefit the county?

For more information on the lack of recess visit the link and do your share in bringing a much needed break back to our students.