The percentage of districts requiring elementary schools to teach physical education has increased by more than 10 percentage points over the past 12 years, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
In 2000, 82.6 percent of districts required physical education in elementary schools; by 2012, that figure had jumped to 93.6 percent, according to the CDC’s “2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study,” released last month.
In addition, 58.9 percent of districts required and 32.4 percent recommended that elementary schools provide students with regularly scheduled recess.
At the middle school level, the percentage of states that provided lesson plans or learning activities for physical education doubled from 30.6 percent in 2000 to 60.8 percent in 2012, the CDC found.
Professional development for physical education teachers has also shown a significant increase since 2000.
A version of this article appeared in the September 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as CDC Reports Increase in Phys. Ed. Mandates