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NEWS
December 10, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
There's no slacking off now for school kids -- the California Court of Appeal has ruled that public elementary schools must provide 200 minutes of physical education every 10 days (an average 20 minutes a day), in compliance with state laws. For middle and high schools, that number bumps up to an average 40 minutes a day. The ruling overturns a Sacramento trial court decision that the law was not legally enforceable, and that parents could not enforce the law. A parent in the Auburn Unified School District had sued the district, the California Department of Education and the school board to enforce the law. "Thankfully, the California Court of Appeals recognizes that law means law and that public schools must provide adequate physical education.
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OPINION
July 14, 2013
Re "Fitness is on rise - but so is obesity," July 11 When will we ever figure out that a direct cause of our nation's obesity crisis is that we no longer require students to learn food preparation and nutrition or to take a full program of physical education in our schools? Academics without real-world applications only prepare students to take standardized tests. The "new" Common Core curriculum standards do not include food preparation and nutrition, child development and physical education.
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OPINION
December 17, 2002
In "26% of Kids Overweight, Study Finds" (Dec. 12), it was quite disturbing to find out that there are kids in middle school who weigh over 200 pounds. That's more than I -- a 36-year-old male -- weigh now. When I grew up, my school had a physical education class every day. I think it took an act of God to get excused from P.E. We kids played kickball, softball and basketball, on blacktop no less. You learned to take your bumps and bruises or stay on your feet. At home, after school or on the weekends, unless it was raining or getting dark, we were outside.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 11, 2013 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
M. Jeanne Bartelt, a physical education teacher who was instrumental in efforts to revise statewide PE standards for California schoolchildren, died May 22 in Sacramento. She was 89. The cause was a heart attack, said her partner, Sandra Archer. A PE consultant at the state Department of Education during the 1980s and 1990s, Bartelt helped create a state physical fitness test for students and helped develop teaching guidelines, handbooks and curricula. She also traveled across California training teachers and administrators on ways to teach PE that engage young people and encourage them to be active throughout their life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 1995
If the problems of money and quality of instruction in our public schools are to be solved, the first step should be to slaughter some sacred cows. The first is physical education. It should be offered as an elective rather than compulsory. P.E. is no more than a fun-and-games interlude between important studies. The average student can match the physical fitness claimed for physical education by walking a mile to and from school each day. This would cost nothing. As an elective, physical education could be scheduled after school along with competitive sports.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 1995 | ALICIA DI RADO
UC Irvine administrators have proposed closing the campus' physical education department. If the plan is approved by the Academic Senate in April, all physical education courses will be transferred to UCI's campus recreation program. Starting next fall, sports classes would be offered for no credit and students would pay fees for some of the classes. Current courses offered through campus recreation, such as aerobics, have a variety of fees, but physical education classes are free.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 1991
Jerry R. Russom, the former head of physical education for the Los Angeles Unified School District, has died at a Pasadena hospital. He was 82. A resident of Glendale, he died Wednesday of complications from heart disease and Parkinson's disease, said his wife, Jean Russom. Born in Broken Bow, Neb., Russom earned a bachelor of science degree in 1931 and a master of arts degree in 1939, both from UCLA, where he was a quarterback for three seasons during his undergraduate years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 1992 | LISA MASCARO
More than 50 parents and teachers attending the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board meeting Tuesday night protested plans to eliminate physical education classes for elementary school students in the district. The group pleaded with the board to spare the physical education teachers from cuts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 1992 | LYNDA NATALI
Instructor Diane Henry, who began her teaching career at Cypress College 15 years ago as a part-time trainer, has been named dean of physical education. Henry, 41, replaces Larry Mercadante, who served as dean for 13 years before being named vice president of Student Development Services this summer. Henry was selected for the position from a field of 30 applicants, according to college officials.
OPINION
December 16, 2001 | GREG CRITSER, Greg Critser's book on the modern obesity epidemic will be published next fall.
Last spring, a million California public-school students in the fifth, seventh and ninth grades took a mandated state test. They failed it miserably. But unlike the often-hysterical run-up to the Stanford 9 tests, few had even known in advance that these tests were on the educational agenda. No one had helped kids prepare for the test; no one had made sure teachers were adequately trained before administering the test, and no one had pressured school officials to cough up more resources to make sure their kids passed.
NEWS
May 23, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
It's common knowledge that Americans don't get enough exercise - young Americans too. And the Institute of Medicine issued a report on Thursday calling on schools and government at all levels to make sure that all students get an hour a day of “vigorous or moderate-intensity” physical activity. That would be a big change in schools all over the country. The surgeon general has urged all school systems to require 150 minutes per week of physical education; as of 2006, only 3.8% of elementary schools had done so. The report notes that estimates suggest that only half of school age children are getting an hour a day of exercise - in or out of school.
NEWS
May 21, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
More physical education in kindergarten through fifth grade means less chance of obesity, especially for boys, researchers say. The study provides some of the first evidence of a causal effect between gym and childhood obesity. It is to be published in the Journal of Health Economics. A number of health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have advocated for increased gym class time as one response to the dramatic rise in childhood overweight and obesity.
NEWS
March 4, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Does the government have a role to play in preventing childhood obesity, helping smokers quit and heading off chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease? Yes, according to survey results published Monday by the journal Health Affairs. Two health policy experts from Harvard University wanted to find out how the public was responding to what they called “new frontier” public health initiatives aimed at changing consumer behavior, such as New York City's ban on super-sized sodas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2013 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
Half a dozen arms reached for the sky, some gently grazing a basketball as it escaped the court and thudded out of bounds at the Edward Roybal Learning Center. Despite their best efforts at trying to keep the ball in the game, both teams showed no hint of defeat, even after one was declared the winner. The Los Angeles Unified School District/Special Olympics Unified Basketball League's Eastern finals were underway, and the mood was decidedly different from that of other sports finals.
NEWS
December 31, 2012 | By Eryn Brown
Give kids a break, doctors said Monday - or you might find that they have trouble paying attention in the classroom. In a policy statement released on Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on School Health, pediatricians urged schools to maintain regularly scheduled recess, arguing that it offered academic, social and physical benefits for children of all ages, from elementary school kids to adolescents. Even as increased pressure to raise standardized test scores has pushed schools to consider cutting recess, the personal time for kids shouldn't be curbed to make more time for classroom study, they added, noting that, “Ironically, minimizing or eliminating recess may be counterproductive to academic achievement.” For similar reasons, withholding recess also should not be used as a means of punishment, they said.
NEWS
January 2, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Physical education may be disappearing from some schools, but a study finds that kids who engage in sports or physical activity may do better academically. Researchers analyzed 14 studies (most from the U.S.) looking at the relationship between exercise and school performance. Of those, 10 were based on observation, four used interventions. The number of participants, aged 6 to 18, ranged from 53 to about 12,000. The study was released Monday in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine . Although some of the studies were inconsistent in discovering a link between being more active and better academic performance, other papers did find evidence.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 1995 | FRANK MANNING
Woodland Hills Elementary School has received a $20,634 grant from a Woodland Hills-based health-maintenance organization to purchase state-of-the-art physical fitness equipment. The grant, from CareAmerica Health Plans, will be used to purchase permanent outdoor equipment and develop a cardiovascular fitness and wellness curriculum, the company said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 1996
Girls at the Marlborough School in Los Angeles have an unusual class option to traditional physical education. Since the start of the school year, students have been able to take Hatha yoga--a style that incorporates stretching and breathing exercises. A class of about 15 girls meets for 50 minutes at a time. "A lot of them are taking the class because they want to feel less stressed out," said Judit Sekler, the yoga teacher. "They have a really demanding academic schedule.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2011 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Fewer than one-third of California students who took a statewide physical fitness test this year managed to pass all six areas assessed, new results show. State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, a longtime cross-country coach who has made physical fitness a signature issue, announced the results this week as he launched a program to improve children's health. The campaign will use such celebrity athletes as NBA all-star Bill Walton and others to visit schools to urge students to drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables and increase their exercise.
NEWS
May 2, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Physical education classes may be scarce in some schools, but an activity program combined with school lessons could boost academic performance, a study finds. Research presented recently at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Denver looked at the effects of a 40-minute-a-day, five-day-a-week physical activity program on test scores of first- through sixth-graders at a public school. This program was a little different from most, since it incorporated academic lessons along with exercise.
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