Elementary School Gets Rid of Recess

An elementary school in Rhode Island has given recess the boot. The school will instead require students to take a physical education class designed by the YMCA.

What do you think? Do kids need recess?


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As a high schooler with a first grade brother, I can definetly assess that smaller children NEED recess. Not only is it helpful for excersicing reasons, it helps kids focus. by burning energy at a regular time each day, they can spend a school day peacefully knowing that it's not a huge block of drudgery.
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This is a growing trend nationally. There is so much pressure to have students achieve at a certain level on standardized tests other important learning opportunities are thrown to the wayside.
Recess a learning opportunity? Of course. When else did we really finesse or social skills and learn many of the lessons that are repeatedly replayed in the political arena today?
So called "specials" are no longer special. Art, music, gym and chorus are just a few of the casualties of no child left behind.
I live in Baltimore and the elementary students here lost recess a long time ago. My brother-in-law teaches in a rural NC school zone. Although his core subject and certification area are science, he finds himself teaching math and reading skills for part of the year because those are the subject areas where state testing determines if we are leaving children behind.
And now? Merit pay comes up. In theory, the idea is good. Pay good teachers for doing a good job. Weed out poorer quality teachers. The problem? Test scores determine merit in many proposed scenarios. Who will teach our gifted or any other group not likely to show improvement over the course of a school year?
Why are inner city, low-income youth forced further deprivation of learning and enrichment activities simply because there is no test to measure those areas?
Our educational system is in serious trouble. I taught in a Baltimore City public high school for 5 years. My students claimed national recognition in many competitions. I currently teach my subject area at a local university. I am, however, not qualified to be a teacher. I do not have my 20 - 32 credit hours of education course work to be "qualified" enough to teach America's youth.
I hope the parents fight this change. I hope they advocate for their children. Recess is the first casualty in the slippery slope that is the destruction of American education.
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