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Physical Fitness Makes for Better Students

According to a study released by the Texas Education Agency, students who are physically fit are less likely to have disciplinary problems and more likely to do well in their academics.

The study was based on the annual physical fitness assessments of more than 2.4 million students in the Texas public school system. It found that an increase in exercise enhanced the students’ ability to learn. The evidence came in the form of higher scores by physically fit children on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

As might be expected, attendance rates were higher for students who were physically fit. Also, the study found that fitness levels dropped with each passing grade level. Elementary-age children performed the best while high school had the lowest percentage of physically fit students.

The results of this study makes it perfect timing to exploit for political gain. This time, “exploiting” and “political gain” are actually a positive altruistic thing.

Republican Senator Jane Nelson of Texas is sponsoring legislation to increase physical education requirements for middle school students in Texas.

“We need to move forward on this issue as if lives depend on it – because they do,” said Nelson.

You’d think that this would be an easy resolution to follow through with. But as is with most things in life, there’s resistance. People looking out for the dwindling representation of the fine arts in schools are concerned that it would further squeeze their programs out of the picture.

“More and more requirements have crowded out the opportunity for students and schools to fit music and fine arts into their schedules,” said Robert Floyd of the Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education.

Both are noble causes with their own positive residual effects. So why can’t they both be included?

I’m by no means an expert on the current school curriculum and all the issues surrounding it, but I don’t recall having a problem fitting in both gym and music in my middle and high school days 20+ years ago. It can’t be rocket science.

(via: Dallas Morning News)

March 11th, 2009

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One Response to “Physical Fitness Makes for Better Students”


Heather K
Mar 12th, 2009
9:19 am

I remember when I was in middle school if you took band or choir that counted as your gym credit. And if other schools are modeled that way I can see where there would be a problem.