Feature Article - June 2007
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Back to School

A Look at Trends in Recreation and Sports in Schools and School Districts

At schools across the country, recess and physical education are being sacrificed for academics, an unfortunate result of an increased focus on standardized testing, and due to a misconception that the need to compete internationally means a need to increase time spent on reading, writing and math, despite the fact that numerous studies have shown that kids who get some physical activity and time for free play tend to perform better academically. The kids who do get in daily activity tend to be those who go out for the football team, the soccer team, or otherwise participate in sports. How are these trends affecting kids across the country, and are changes expected in the next few years?

The vast majority of respondents from the industry survey who said they were from schools or school districts were working for public schools. Just 3 percent work for private schools. In addition, more than half of these schools and school districts are in rural areas. Another 35.4 percent are in suburban communities, and 12.6 percent are in urban areas.