Monday, April 09, 2007

Watching Our Figures

Now I hated gym class, every minute of it. But I went every day, to hear the dulcet tones of my ex-drill sergeant, shaved headed, constantly screaming musclebound teacher announce, "Get down and give me 20," or "Give me 6 laps," or some equally unwelcome instruction.

Out in Lansing, Michigan, those lucky kids are only getting 40 minutes a week. But some spoilsports are claiming that because of the rise in childhood diabetes and obesity, that's just not enough.

"Nobody is looking at fitness scores - they're not on the front page of the paper..."

"The only way to make sure that physical education stays is to mandate it."

Right now they only have a single wandering part-time gym teacher for all the Lansing schools. And that's easy on the school budget.

"If we added extra hours, he would have to be in one building," she said. " We would have to hire him full time."

That could mean benefits, and tenure, and all sorts of inconvenience. And it would probably mean hiring people for those other buildings too. Is there any way for those unfortunate folks in Lansing to show they value physical activity without hiring that old gym teacher?

I mean, it's not like the guy is gonna improve test scores or anything.
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