There was an item in our local newspaper which caught my eye because I thought it was so very odd. The headline was “Recess thrives in Wisconsin”:
The national PTA reports many schools in Wisconsin grant 30 minutes for recess during the day, half at mid-morning and half in the afternoon. That’s the maximum allowed by state law. (Emphasis mine.)
But nationally, the PTA says 40% of elementary schools have either cut out recess or are thinking about it. Blame goes to budget cuts and requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.
First of all, why do we have a law limiting recess? I mean, was there an epidemic of schools allowing children to run around for hours on end and not teaching kids to read and write? I can totally see passing a law requiring a minimum amount of recess, but a maximum?
Secondly, it’s really frightening that school administrators (I can almost promise it’s not classroom teachers pushing this nonsense) are so completely and utterly stupid that they think cutting recess is a good way to improve student achievement. Are all these people hanging out with Marion Barry over lunch? And we wonder why boys are failing in school and 1 in 10 fifth grade boys are on ritalin? Anyone with a functioning brain cell in their heads should realize that reducing kid’s opportunities for blowing off steam will also reduce their achievement. Yeesh!