By Ken Reed
The pile of research that shows that regular cardiovascular-based physical education improves students’ academic performance, as well as their physical and mental health, is as high as the Washington Monument. Yet, D.C. schools are basically ignoring a physical education and activity requirement established by the city.
D.C. K-5 students are only getting 91 of the required 150 minutes of P.E. and physical activity per week, while students in grades six through eight only received 137 of the mandated 225 minutes, according to the 2018 Healthy Schools Act Report.
“To put it bluntly, following the Healthy Schools Act is not a priority for [D.C. Public Schools] or individual charter schools, and they’ve ignored the law,” said Joe Weeden, an outgoing State Board of Education member.
The state superintendent’s office said schools want to comply with the P.E. requirements but find it challenging to balance academic subjects and physical activity. The ironic part of schools’ avoidance of PE is that regular P.E. has been consistently shown to improve academic performance. It’s simply not an either/or situation. If you want better academic performance, add more physical activity to the school day.
D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh, who wrote the Healthy Schools Act, which includes the P.E./physical activity requirements, said, “These goals weren’t just aspirational. We know academic performance improves with physical activity, and we want children to develop a practice in their life of physical activity.”
Dr. Wendy Suzuki, a neuroscientist, gave a popular TED talk on the powerful benefits of exercise on the brain last year.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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