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News Tue Sep 08 2009

PE Or Not PE

Sure dodgeball may still be a dark memory for some, but when it came to physical education in Chicago public schools, it was better than nothing. Which, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune, is pretty much where we are now. Reporter Monica Eng says that while the CPS recommends between 155 adn 225 mihutes of physical education per week for CPS students, more than a few schools reported only conducting gym class once a week. Combine that with the typical eating habits of kids (when given a choice, most of them aren't reaching for the broccoli) and activities that range from passive (playing video games) to downright lethargic (listening to music) and you've potentially got a bunch of overweight kids. In fact, Illinois has the fourth highest level of childhood obesity.

CPS have a variety of reasons why it hasn't placed a greater emphasis on gym class (not enough money, that it would cut into instructional time), but other school districts, faced with similar hurdles, have somehow found a way to make the adjustment.

As one CPS veteran says in the article, ""There are serious scheduling issues that would have to be considered, and we'd need to hire more gym teachers. It's a lot more complicated than people think. ... But if CPS really decided this was a priority, it would happen."

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