A new study published this week by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, of the Cooper Institute of Dallas, suggests that students in Texas are greatly benefiting by being physically active. Their testing scores are higher and their behavior is better. Cooper performed physical fitness assessments with more than 2.4 million students in Texas’ public schools. The children who were the most fit and engaged in the most exercise were the ones who saw a greater capacity to learn. On standardized tests required of public school students in Texas, the “TAKS” test or Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, results were higher in these active children. Schools also reported better attendance.
While physical education programs continually fall to the bottom of budget priorities for school districts, Sen. Jane Nelson is sponsoring legislation that will raise the P.E. credits required by Texas’ middle school children. The state currently requires four semesters of physical education classes, she is proposing six.
“There is more work to do to combat obesity and get children in shape,” said Nelson, “We need to move forward on this issue as if lives depend on it – because they do.”