Here’s one indicator that testing has gone way too far and is damaging children rather than improving their education: A bill in the Texas House of Representatives requires school districts to consider recess.
Like Dave Barry, we can’t make this stuff up. Rep. Mike Villareal, who represents part of Bexar County in District 123 (near San Antonio) has a bill in the hopper, H. B. 366, which requires districts to have advisory groups to stress the value of recess. (Text of the bill is below the fold.)
Would schools be so crazy as to cancel recess? Yes, that’s been our experience. Cancelling recess gives an elementary school an extra 30 minutes of class time every day. So, to impress administrators somewhere, some schools cancel recess. Despite studies showing that recess boosts learning and test scores, schools are cancelling recess.
Nuts. (Quick, what battle is that from?)
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to consideration of the importance of daily recess by
local school health advisory councils.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the “Freedom to Play and Learn Act.”
SECTION 2. Section 28.004, Education Code, is amended by adding Subsection (l) to read as follows:
(l) The local school health advisory council shall consider and may make policy recommendations concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students. The council may consider any research regarding unsupervised play, academic and social development, and the health benefits of daily recess in making the recommendations. The council shall ensure that local community values are reflected in any policy recommendation made to the district under this subsection.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2007.