Mandating health in schools

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In today’s educational climate in which standardized test performance in core subjects carries a significant amount of weight with regard to teacher and school evaluations, “wasting” all that time doing nothing in PE is something districts cannot afford.As such, PE classes have been cut so students can spend more time in core classes."Report: More PE, activity programs needed in schools," May 23, 2013, Available at Editorial Board, "Exercise and Academic Performance," New York Times, May 24, 2013, Available at

Many physical education leaders are arguing for a complete paradigm shift in the area of fitness and wellness instruction.The study, based on information from 37,000 high school students’ responses to surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals that most students do not believe gym class is effective.This has led nearly all states to create and pass new bills to reform public schools’ fitness education programs.While running laps and doing jumping jacks used to be a staple of many physical education classes, many schools have diversified their options to reflect a more modern take on gym class.Schools offer instruction in traditional team sports and games like flag football and red rover, but also emphasize healthy eating habits, the benefits of lifting weights and offer unique experiences from bowling to fly-fishing to kayaking.

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