Monday, January 15, 2007

Recess under attack?

Today's Toledo (OH) Blade has a great article about how a growing number of schools -- but still a minority -- are eliminating recess from our children's school day: Local schools serious about keeping recess. (Though, looks like a lot of information in the story is from May 2006 -- still worth knowing if you didn't hear about it then.)

According to the article, Mark Schneider, the commissioner of the National Center of Education Statistics, presented his group's recess findings that: The proportion of U.S. schools that don't have recess ranges from 7 percent for first and second grades to 13 percent by sixth grade.

Oakdale Elmentary in East Toledo is the only NW Ohio school mentioned that does not have recess, despite the fact that it's a new building with new playground equipment!
Principal Tracy Knight said there isn't time for playing outside.

"With what we have to do in terms of achievement testing, and since the school day hasn't been extended, you can't eat valuable instructional time," Mr. Knight said.
I know our schools and teachers are under a lot of pressure, but that does not justify not allowing students the chance to blow off energy and play with their friends.

Fortunately, Cartoon Network, with assistance from groups like the PTA, launched a Rescuing Recess campaign. The week of Sept. 18, 2006, was National Recess Week.

Banning recess is just a bad idea. I know first that, when we have a busy day or weekend and there's no time for the kids to let off steam and just play, they get mischievous
or don't behave.

Well, at least for those schools who ban recess, they don't have to worry about banning tag (another silly idea).

Why can't today's kids just be kids?! Adults are taking a lot of fun out of growing up.

-- Michael