27 June, 2011
“Positive Outcomes of Physical Education”
Physical education budgets are being cut even though it has clearly been proven that students who actively participate in Physical Education from Kindergarten through twelfth grade not only improve their overall health, but also strengthen their academic achievements. In 2001 the Congress passed a bill called “No Child Left Behind”. The bill called for states to come up with a standardized testing to assess the students in order to receive money from federal funding. According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the bill identified the following subjects as the “core academic subjects”: English, reading or language arts, math, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography (NASPE). Leaving the subject Physical Education clearly missing from the list. Did this mean that the congress did not consider Physical Education to be an academic subject? It certainly got states, school boards, and educational policy makers believing so. Unfortunately this made it legal for states to cut funding for PE and according to NASPE “gave many school boards the incentive (and political cover) to reduce or eliminate requirements for students to participate in PE classes” (NASPE). I have already begun to experience the effects of funding cuts. The first thing that went was funding for High School sports. For the last two years I have had to pay for traveling fees, support fund raisers, and purchase uniforms, just to name a few, in order for my son to participate. This makes it less desirable for lower income families to encourage their children to keep active in sports. This just simply adds fuel to the fire; our youth can already opt out of Physical Education and now in order to participate on a school team, they have to pay their own way. With these obstacles in our youth’s way, the risk for health problems increases dramatically. Physical activity has been proven to be a great way to control and improve a sea full of issues including obesity, physical health, mental health, and academics. The National Association of Sports and Education explains that “PE was first offered as a subject in U.S. schools in the early part of the 19th century. State education agency mandates for PE became common after World War I, when many young men were found to be unfit for military service”(1). Since then the majority of us has gotten to experience this curriculum and it is just as important now in the 21st century as it was in the 19th. Physical Education plays an important role on constructing a well rounded individual. By well rounded I mean a student who not only knows the importance of getting good grades in their core curriculums, but who also knows the importance of staying healthy through being actively involved in physical exercise. You do not necessarily have to be the most athletic person to participate. You just have to give it your all and do not give up. If you follow your teacher’s instructions and play by the rules, PE can have very rewarding outcomes. Or if you choose not to participate the outcomes can have a negative outcome including obesity. With our obese society being at an all time high, Physical Education could not be more important. According to Centers for Disease Control childhood overweight and obesity rates have tripled from just one generation ago which means that obesity affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States. Childhood obesity tends to reflect the likelihood of being overweight as an adult. Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease which is one of the leading causes of death of adults in the US. Obesity can also cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea, and joint problems. CDC also mentions that obese children have low self esteem, social problems, and are the targets...
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