That seems to be the message in this Washington Post story.
From the article:
The Maryland School Assessment in reading and math for 2010 showed a 10 percentage-point increase in school pass rates. Mathews said it was hard to tell how much the running factored into the academic strides. But she noted that administrators had more time for professional development because there were fewer discipline problems and more focused students. "It really changed the culture of the school," she said. Now, when Diana Rabideau's first-graders return from lunch, they ask teachers to keep track of how much they ran. She obliges, then giggles as she overhears students try to figure out just how many more laps they need until they get a pendant. "They are mastering math skills," said Rabideau, who strives to teach addition and subtraction. "When they come back from lunch, they are now so calm and ready to start an activity. And the boys -- the boys! -- they are reading now."
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