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CPS to Add Phys Ed to Curriculum... Give or Take a Couple of Years

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 10, 2011 3:45PM

Members of the Chicago School Board agreed yesterday to add physical education to the system's curriculum. This came as a shock to us as we believed, even with a five-hour school day, it already was a part of the school day.

This, and maybe this, is why your kid is fat.

The School Board stopped short of implementing the decision immediately. They're going to give school district leaders as much as 2-1/2 years to add Phys. Ed. to the daily schedule. School Baord member Penny Pritzker also said she found it "distressing" that CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard wanted to renew a waiver excluding juniors and seniors to circumvent the state’s daily physical education requirement. The waiver has been in effect since 1997.

“I think physical education is important’’ for both “physical and mental health,’’ Priztker said during a special board meeting called to vote on seeking the waiver from state officials. “I think it’s as important as the arts. It’s as important as academics. It’s important in helping young people model a well-rounded life.’’

Yet Pritzker voted to approve a waiver for 36,000 of the school system's 42,000 juniors and seniors to skip Phys. Ed. Brizard said he wants to implement it in a "thoughtful" way and wants to find the funding for the 200 or so teachers necessary to do so.

So let's get this straight. CPS can find the money for elementary schools to break their contracts with them in exchange for a longer school day. But when it comes to giving high school students an hour of gym time a day, no can do?