Physical activity has shown a decline in the education system starting from elementary school through high school affecting recess, physical education, and after school sports. Not only are the children affected likely to have an increased amount of health problems, but the learning process resulting from the children's inactivity is also being affected. Accompanying the lowered levels of physical activity children are involved in, the pressure of the academic acceleration expectations by their peers has compounded the pressures our children face. This decrease in physical activity is inhibiting the physical outlet necessary for the overall learning process to include learning skills and teamwork capabilities.
Research has shown that
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The mandates require schools to reach a higher academic level. Sanctions and rewards are enforced to those schools that either reach the standards, or fall short. More time is focused on academic achievement in fear of reprimand through funding cuts brought about by the act. According to James Sallis, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, the schools are more concerned with spending time on the subjects in which the mandates are imposed in order to get the funding needed to keep the schools running (cited in Dehoney, n.d.). Sallis is also concerned that the act is "treating kids like little learning machines, which they are not" (cited in Dehoney, n.d., para. 4). This added time needed to uphold the math and reading standards set by the act has forced the school systems to provide additional class time for academic learning.
One of the first things to go to allow for more classroom time is recess. "According to the American Association for the Child's Right to Play, 40 percent of schools in the US are reducing or eliminating recess or considering recess cuts" (Laurie, 2005, Cuts are occurring, para. 1). This is the first step to provide more classroom time without affecting the curriculum. What are we doing to the children? So many expectations are required from the children, now we are trying to take away the only outlet available to them. In order to uphold the right of the students, necessary actions were taken such as:
The American Association for