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Bring Back Recess in Public Schools!

SCAreadersSpeakOutIt is time to start a real conversation about our public schools. This conversation is about giving schools the money they need to be the backbone of every community, the way they have been for 150 years in this country. When people grow up and become voting citizens, they take their values and their education from the place where they belong.

Yes, the U.S. typically scores Average in the world testing market. Who cares? We typically KICK BUTT in the world economy, world inventions, ingenuity, gross domestic product and military domination. Why do we care about pitting our children against the children of other nations? Does that help the children?

Somebody said the schools were failing and the media picked it up, but where’s the proof? Also, where’s the proof that Testing our children to death will improve their scores? This is no proof. Because it hasn’t been researched.

Someone came up with the idea of testing and, suddenly, it’s required nationwide with no research to show that it improves the education of our children, or even moves us up in the worldwide testing regime. Now we test so much that there’s no time for schooling, unless it’s on the test. Even science is an afterthought. The teachers have to squeeze it in here and there between the two things on the test: math and English (aka Common Core/Race to the Top).

There’s also no time for RECESS. My seven-year old son is in school, quiet, still, attentive for SIX HOURS before he gets his little 15 minute break. He’s a kid! Six hours before recess? My five-year old in kindergarten is supposed to be treated the same way. Why? So they do better on tests? Do we think that children perform better on tests when they are treated like this?

Free time for children to move around, talk, laugh, and interact with other kids has been proven to be an essential part of child development. Kids need to learn social skills at a young age so that they will grow up knowing how to get along with and work with other people. This is a crucial part of their education.

If you work for a corporation in this country, you get a 15 minute break in the first four hours and then a 30 minute break for lunch so that in the first 4 ½ hours, you actually get 45 minutes of free time. It’s the law. Unless you are a child in public school. (And don’t even think of counting lunch as free time in public school – the children are not allowed to get up from their seats.)

Maybe we can balance our budge if we take back the 20% of the annual Public School Budget that now gets spent on testing. If we again spend it on education instead of testing, then the children will be allowed to have recess (like they did when we were in school) since teachers wouldn’t be forced to teach to test. Let’s bring back recess!

If you think recess is important, please sign the petition that’s going around and call the Board of Education to tell them how important you think this issue is.

Gwendolyn Blanton
Pegram, Tennessee

 

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