I recently read an editorial in the Rochester Post Bulletin about a bill authored by Rep. Kim Norton of Rochester. The bill would require high school students to take one semester of Physical Education. I was shocked that kids don’t need to take Phy Ed in high school. I’m in my late 30’s, and I thought it was odd that when I was in high school we only took one semester of Phy Ed in our second year of high school.
My two older sons attended North Trail Elementary School in Farmington. North Trail students have Phy Ed everyday. It is my understanding that North Trail is the only elementary school in the district to have daily Phy Ed. North Trail Elementary School also has the highest test scores in the district in Math, Science and Writing according to the Department of Education.
Is it odd to think there is a correlation? A 2006 Michigan State University Study published in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that students who took part in more vigorous physical activities did approximately 10 percent better in core classes such as Math, Science, English and Social Studies. Obviously, as an accountant, I am by no means an expert, but it makes sense that kids who get to exert some energy during the day have minds cleared and ready to learn. Representative Pat Garofalo supports this bill for the state, but I urge the school district, dealing with two middle schools and a high school that are not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress according to the Minnesota Department of Education Report Cards to consider following North Trail’s example, by making daily gym a requirement. I don’t think it is absurd to consider that for the middle schools either. I hope others will commend Representative Garofalo for his support of the bill, and even urge him to expand the bill to include more Phy Ed in school. I also hope others will join me in urging the school district to expand Phy Ed in our schools.
This is the response I got when I emailed Rep. Garofalo:
Thanks for the email Steve. I am a supporter of this bill and havevoted for it in the past. I will be voting for it again this session. You can count on my support for this. Thanks!
Rep. Pat Garofalo
221 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155