Today, I did something I’ve never done before – I wrote a letter to the White House. It was in response to First Lady Obama’s recent speech (“Obesity is also one of the biggest threats to the American economy”) to the Conference of Mayors.
Here’s what I wrote at “Contact the White House” – http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact –
I would like to comment on First Lady Michelle Obama’s strategies to end childhood overweight/obesity in the US. I believe that the First Lady is overlooking a resource found on every school campus – physical education teachers.
As a physical educator, we have not been asked to “step up to the plate” on this problem. I would like to suggest that each state be required to implement a state-wide accountability program based on the development of very specific student outcomes that include the CDC physical activity recommendations and the five recommended obesity prevention behaviors (ex: eating 5-9 fruits/veggies, limiting sugar-added beverages) supported by the medical community.
This program must be based on developing motor skills that lead to lifetime fitness, the attainment of a consistent set of “PE Power Standards,” and a method for gathering this data school-by-school and teacher-by-teacher, just as we do in reading, writing, and math.
It must go beyond fitness testing and gathering BMI data. It must dramatically change the actual behaviors of physical education teachers and hold them accountable to REALLY TEACH. If this were to be done, I believe it would greatly impact our childhood obesity rates.
Presently, there is no accountability for K-12 PE. It is about time that we hold physical education professionals accountable as we do with classroom teachers.
It’s like saying we need to have “more and better science and math professionals,” but not involving the K-12 science and math educators in the process.
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