"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Why Testing Mania is Physically Harmful for Children

Children are showing up in emergency rooms with injuries from physical education at more than double the rate of 10 years ago, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. While the rate doubled, the annual number of injuries shot up by 150 percent, from 1997 to 2007. ABC News.

The article goes on to state: In 1991, 42 percent of U.S. students attended a daily P.E. class, according to the 2006 Shape of the Nation Report by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. By 2003, only 28 percent of students went to P.E. daily.

I don't have the latest statistics on what percentage of U.S. students attend P.E. classes daily in 2009 but I would venture to guess it is less than the 28 percent reported in 2003. Perhaps someone can check with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. I just don't have the time right now.

What I do know is pediatricians need to start speaking out against the testing mania that has taken over our public schools and the lives of our children. This new study published in the journal Pediatrics is getting wide media attention. The question being raised is WHY are children going to the emergency room in increasing numbers from gym class and sports activities? The answers are more childhood obesity, less PE teachers, larger class sizes, less time in gym class, competitive sports and everything BUT the proliferation of standardized testing that is slowly destroying the mental, phsycial and emotional well being of an entire generation or two.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the emphasis on standardized test scores have squeezed out phsycial activity along with art, music, etc. while the competitive sports insanity that starts as early as first grade has also led to more injuries in young children.

Where are the funds in the Race to the Top for more PE teachers, schools nurses, and smaller gym classes? Based on the facts presented by pediatricians on the front lines, doesn't look like America's students will be winning races any time soon.

It's time for pediatricians to embark on a new study on how standardized testing is damaging the health and well being of children. Do you think NBC would cover that one?

1 comment:

  1. That's so sad. Classroom teachers do try to fit in some sort of physical activity during the school day (outside of actual PE class I mean), but it doesn't seem enough anyway.