PE, health, arts no longer middle school core requirements

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:47 p.m.

    Patriot... are you saying those things in Utah schools. They absolutely do in North Carolina in elementary and middle school. I don't know about high school in NC because my youngest is finishing at a Utah high school. There he competes in sports so it's a moot point there.

    But don't kids in Utah do the Presidents fitness challenge? It's too bad if they don't but I get why Utah wouldnt want to participate in a "national" program

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:41 p.m.

    dr.Man... I have no doubt that might have been your experience, but as an educated person please acknowledge that your experiences are not inclusive of all students... just the subset you interacted with.

    I formerly worked for North Carolina Central University - a traditionally black college. The majority of students at that school and many of its peer schools don't have cars period, less alone late model cars. So please.... and if you see designer cloths, there is a good percent that are knock offs.

    Lastly... all universities have general ed classes that all students have to take that often have nothing to do with their later life. And yes... a good number of students take Shakespear as a required GE elective. To say in college all classes are self directed is simple not an accurate statement. Often in required electives you are picking from a very small sub segment of classes... maybe not where you taught but just about anywhere else.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Aug. 14, 2017 8:34 a.m.

    Some have expressed a desire to give students more freedom in choosing their classes. Not a good idea at this age. We require classes for a reason. Arts, P.E., and Health are too important at this young age. What's next, letting them skip math and reading? if the School Board truly believe in choice they would quit adding STEM classes to the required list. Children need an introduction to the finer things of life, not just a narrow path to an industry job.

  • MoFemConMom Draper, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 10:13 p.m.

    I repeat, this does not mean the schools are cutting art and PE. It means the districts and schools get to decide what is required. That CCP class (College & Career Preparedness) was ridiculous and was mandated by the state school board. It took the only elective slot available for my 7th grader because she's in a Chinese immersion program. I wanted her to have the choice to take art, but she couldn't because of this required class. She also plays on an lacrosse team, so for us, PE was redundant and I wanted her to have art!

    **Please note: This change makes it possible for students in our situation to finally get an art class.

    I went to the state school board meeting in the spring where this issue was discussed at length with many teachers, administrators, several District School Board members, and a room packed full of parents all advocating for the state school board to loosen the requirements (specifically the Digital Citizenship and College & Careers requirements), because our kids couldn't get a music or art class. It was unbearable.

    Note to Author: this headline is grossly misleading!

  • MoFemConMom Draper, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 6:45 p.m.

    Strangely, I'm seeing a lot of negative comments about this. Mandates from the STATE school board are the kiss of death! They treat Draper schools the same as Taylorsville schools and rural schools. THIS IS WONDERFUL NEWS! It puts the decision-making for courses in the hands of school districts and closer to the parents. If I have a daughter in lacrosse and dance, a mandated PE class is ridiculous. It doesn't mean kids don't get PE, art, health, etc. It means that parents and schools get more control and can suit the course offerings to the needs of the students at their school.

  • Larry Fine Layton, UT
    Aug. 11, 2017 9:12 a.m.

    How could you say art, PE, health education aren't important? If anything, math and science should be optional as well.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 10, 2017 11:05 p.m.

    @DrMAN - Orem, UT wrote,

    @ Laura Bilington

    "It's not the states' responsibility to raise the children of parents whose priorities are elsewhere."

    Then you go on to lecture those parents to skip the designer clothes and the late model cars.
    I don't know anybody who disagrees with the contention that it is the responsibility of the parents to raise their children. But talk to any junior high teacher about those parents whose priorities are, in your opinion, elsewhere. They will tell you that these parents shop at Wal-Mart, not known for its designer clothes department, and their cars are not particularly new. But even if they were: suppose the parents choose not to accept your advice to them? Should we, as a society, abdicate responsibility for the children that they have spawned just because the parents would not accept your sage advice?

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 7:49 p.m.

    Health should not have been removed. There are so many health issues kids are facing from obesity, eating disorders, depression, sexually transmitted viruses, poor diet, sleep issues, and so many other things this should be a mandatory class for junior high and high school. There isn't one teen or pre-teen that can't benefit from the information that is and can be provided in this class.

  • Matt21 Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 7:48 p.m.

    Yes, they should ask the teachers what they think. They should also look at what society is proving we need. Obesity is at an all time high. Drug abuse, mental health issues, and depression are at an all time high. People don't know how to deal with stress correctly and studies prove that physical activity improves brain function. How can anyone in their right mind think that these topics are not important to teach to our youth? How??

    If this were truly about freedom of choice there would be no required classes. So obviously it's about what board members think is the priority. P.E., the arts, and health, have never been a priority which is why there are no standardized testing for them. This just seems like a step towards getting rid of them altogether.

    It would be pretty easy to argue that the arts, PE, and health are THE MOST IMPORTANT classes offered in Jr High if you look at the overall well being of an individual. This new option just gives kids that are obese and overweight the "right" to continue to be lazy and unhealthy and gives the kids who love the class the chance to be in a class that is most kids' favorite class anyway.

    If you think health care is bad now!

  • AggieFan4Ever Logan, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 4:10 p.m.

    So... they consulted with parents, administrators, etc... why do I see no mention of any of these board members consulting with, oh, I dunno... the teachers?? They're the experts here, NOT the board members. Why they never seem to have a say in any of these decisions is beyond me and is one of the main reasons education in Utah is in such terrible shape. First the alternative path to licensure and now this. All of these board members really need to be replaced by people with actual credentials in the field of education and teaching experience.

  • Rebekeh Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 2:55 p.m.

    Appalling. Our State School Board, with many non-educators, make policy for which they know nothing about. School is vital to the well-being, growth and development of our children and future nation. But kids need a reason to come to school... even rich kids. And with stress on the rise, we must provide an outlet that is #1- cost effective, #2 meaningful, #3 developmentally appropriate.

    I work in a public school and we are not programming little organic computers and just inputting data into their little bodies. We are teaching human beings, some of whom have ideas of their own. A well rounded education that includes physical outlets and art is vital to a healthy understanding the world around them. Look around. Cutting out PE and Art really narrow a career path for lots of little people. If for nothing else, think of the jobs these disciplines provide.

    And these idiots in charge seem baffled with the rise is teenage suicide. Please vote them out and support trained educators instead.

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 1:59 p.m.

    @ UtahBlueDevil

    My comments are speaking from experience. I've taught college at some of the most diverse institutions, with much of their population being at or below the poverty level. It was astounding the number of conversations I had with students who claimed not to have money for textbooks and basic educational supplies (i.e., pencils/pens, paper) and every excuse for why they couldn't afford college. Yet these same students had the latest iDevice, manis/pedis, designer clothing, and the like. Student parking was filled with late model vehicles, decked out with rims and tires, stereo systems blasting, etc. All while fighting parking tickets for not paying the parking fee.

    At university, you choose the classes you take according to the major you choose. Therefore, if you chose to take Shakespeare and aren't making use of it, you have nobody but yourself to blame for that. And what you're proposing by cutting "baloney" is kind of what the Board is doing here. PE, arts, health, etc., can be taught by parents. Parents can teach their children all these subjects just as if not more competently than professional educators. No grading and administrative bureaucracy needed!

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 2:05 a.m.

    There's a simple reason for cutting PE.

    Our public schools are on large campuses, with gyms and fields where kids can get some exercise.

    But that's no longer the style. Now it's all about private schools, or charter schools that take our tax money and give it to for-profit operators.

    There's no profit in having fields or playgrounds or gyms. Instead, it's much easier to rent out space in an office park or warehouse and call it a school.

    And if the school fails or the operator goes bankrupt or runs off with the funding? Don't worry. The building will be let out as a call center next month. (Perhaps with the students inside--that's the only work they'll be prepared for!)

  • Gregory American Fork, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 4:39 p.m.

    At the heart of these problems is the lack of money. Yes, our education system needs much more money. Much more.

  • Fabulous Jen Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 4:37 p.m.

    If I could add one more art-related anecdote ... I was a very poor middle school student. Girls never flunked grades back then but I would have been a good candidate. Those were very sad and awkward years. It's one of the reasons I became a middle school teacher.

    To coincide with the first "Earth Day" in 1970, there was a statewide contest to see which boy/girl team in art class could come up with the best "anti-litter" poster. I teamed up with a boy who was also having a difficult time in middle school. We came up with the theme "Keep Utah Beautiful! Throw All Your Garbage In Colorado!" Our drawing of a little "devil" straddling the state line with a pitchfork holding a sign that said that did look a little satanic but it was also very "middle school". Colorado was overflowing with garbage, of course, while Utah was as pristine as ever. But we took third place in the contest and we each received a Parker pen set as an award.

    I'm still friends with and occasionally run into that boy 47 years later. We still laugh about our art project. It was the only middle school experience we had that was positive. It's a shame those art opportunities might not be available to today's kids.

  • Fabulous Jen Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:26 p.m.

    I was a certified middle school teacher for fourteen years. Very few 12-14 year-olds have "passion" for any academic subject. Most of my students wanted to be NBA players or rap stars.

    I'll never forget the very at-risk, emotionally volatile boy who created contemporary drawings in art class that would have made Andy Warhol proud. I saw him in the office once for disciplinary reasons and offered him $20 for one of his color charcoal drawings of a Frosted Flakes box that was on display in the school's hallway. The boy broke down and cried. No one had ever told him he was talented before.

    Removing the arts from the curriculum does a great disservice to kids like that boy. Taking the arts away from Native American kids in rural schools will be especially devastating for them. Art is a huge part of Native American culture.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:36 p.m.

    This is wrong. It's a step in the wrong direction, making our society worse.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:01 p.m.

    DrMan.... the poor families I interact with don't live in McMassions, late model cars or have much of the stuff you claim them to have... perhaps you need to spend a little more time with these families.

    As to universities only teach what adults need in life.... can't remember the last time I used trig or calculus, nor has my Shakespeare class had much relevance to my ability to provide for my family. If we restrict universities to teach only those things add value to our working lives... we could cut out much of the required baloney taught.

  • RVlifeRudy27 Orem, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 12:47 p.m.

    Health covers so many vital concepts for young teens trying to figure out who they are. It covers the dangers of smoking, drugs, alcohol, sexual activity at a young age. Not mention mental health. When suicide seems to be out of control how can we possibly get rid of a class that may help a child survive. It's insane!!

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 12:10 p.m.

    Why is one of the better state education programs in the nation choosing to dumb itself down? We already knew that PE, the arts, and college prep were suffering and this only pushes those things further out of the minds of probably 80% of the studentbody (or, more importantly, the parents of those students). We should expect more from our children rather than less...we'll reap what we sow.

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 11:52 a.m.

    @ Laura Bilington

    It's not the states' responsibility to raise the children of parents whose priorities are elsewhere. If parents' heads are financially below water (to use your metaphor) such that they have to abdicate their parental responsibilities to states to educate their children, then parents need to get their priorities straight. Cancel the unnecessary spending: cell phones, cable TV, designer clothes, late model vehicles, McMansions, bling, eating out, and the list goes on and on. This will allow parents work the jobs they need to provide the necessities (as the occasional niceties) and spend the time carrying out the duties of being parents.

    If they didn't want to raise children, with everything that raising children entails, then they shouldn't have signed up for that responsible. But now that they have, there is no excuse for not following through on that commitment.

  • Bubba1895 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 11:39 a.m.

    @ hobblecrik - Sandy, UT: You indicated this was a poor decision due to the rising obesity rates and death of physical activity. That ought to tell you that P.E. classes are not working the way they were intended.
    This decision is not saying that kids aren't taking P.E. or Art or any other class; it is just saying that kids and parents can have a little more say in the decision-making process. Perhaps schools will offer classes in Yoga or Pilates, maybe a Power-walking class. Perhaps there will be fitness programs brought it that truly work because as of right now, they aren't working as we continue to see obesity rates rise with kids.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 11:36 a.m.

    PE was good -- 30 years ago -- but since then it has become sort of a joke. The PE part has gone away and been replaced by some unorganized goof-off time. I would love to see PE changed to actually be PE -- physical educaton -- with real requirements and skill learning. Kids should be taught proper running, exercising, lifting , etc... and then be required to pass a timed run and other skills as well. I think too nutrition should be taught along with PE.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 11:24 a.m.

    Wow. I don't believe the reasons are as quoted by board member Alisa Ellis who said the policy change gives people more of an opportunity to "follow their passions." Fundamentally, it's an issue of freedom...."

    How will it be "freedom" when a child wants to join a school orchestra/band/choir and there is no orchestra/band/choir to join? How can a child "follow their passions" when the venue for it does not exist?

    No, I think this is a matter of funding issues. They don't want to fund the arts. And the PE money will go to football which serves less than 5% of our youth.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 10:57 a.m.

    Since we wiped out childhood obesity we no longer need PE for our wonderfully fit kids.

  • MGP08 Morgan, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 10:56 a.m.

    If this is truly about choice and flexibility, then why mandate any course? Why not let every student take only the classes they want to take. This decision implies that parents and students will make every correct decision and choice for their education, and that ALL parents will parent at home. Some parents can't, aren't home to do it, or just don't know how. Why should we make a kid take math or English if they don't really like it? If we don't need to force them to take one course, should we really force them to take any? Believe it or not, in a Middle School atmosphere, there is bullying going on in math and English. Students who are bullied don't need to be in PE for it to occur. Students find ways for that to happen regardless of where they are. Removing a class will not remove that from happening. Most bullying occurs in the hall, at lunch, and recess. While choice is important and one of the greatest gifts in life, too often we forget about the consequences of choice.

  • mightymite , 00
    Aug. 8, 2017 10:49 a.m.

    This is the wrong decision - these outlets are sorely needed for our youth. The board will cut classes like this yet not even broach the subject of removing mormon religious ed or release time as it is known the the unkempt masses... just plain wrong.

  • james d. morrison Sandy, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 10:21 a.m.

    Good decision. These classes aren't going away, it is just that children will have more options in choosing what kinds of classes they want to take. If a child wants to take another STEM class but doesn't have the space in the schedule because he has to take a music class or PE, then he is better off with this. Maybe someone wants to learn two foreign languages and doesn't want to paint.
    The problem with my middle school art class was there were too many kids that didn't want to be there that the teacher had to deal with and really didn't have control of the situation. Let the kids who want to be in that non-essential class actually be the ones in the class.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    Does anyone else find this sort of sad?

    I guess it's good that kids have flexibility and can pick classes that they are interested in, but it also seems that this is the first steps to having all non-core classes getting the axe.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 10:09 a.m.

    Good call. There's no need to teach children about the importance of physical fitness, exercise & athleticism. Perhaps they need to replace that with a required class that teaches kids how to play video games & watch TV for hours on end.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:50 a.m.

    @DrMAN wrote,

    "So what...PE and art classes are now discretionary. Looks like parents can, oh, I don't parents....and teach their children how to eat healthily, exercise regularly, the "birds and the bees," and all the other things that will now be discretionary in public education."

    If the parents were actually parenting, then we wouldn't have such a high percentage of high school kids who are overweight. For that matter, we wouldn't have such a high percentage of the parents being overweight, either.

    And we wouldn't have so many teenagers pregnant.

    But we do. We have so many parents working so many hours to keep their financial heads above water. And, sadly, we have a lot of parents who are substance abusers who no longer are able to parent their children.

    One caveat: PE in schools should be geared to developing healthy bodies for ALL the students--not team sports stars. My Utah high school PE class was a joke--all the resources were devoted to the boys' football and basketball training.

    And when I enrolled at the University of Utah, I was, indeed, put into a remedial physical fitness class.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:37 a.m.

    I think this is an appalling decision. As Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) so wisely tells us in that fine film, The Princess Bride, "if you haven't got your health you haven't got anything." PE classes and health classes are vital to the physical well-being of our children. Surely, they ought not to be made optional at the middle-school level. I'm not sure what is encompassed by the term "the arts" in schools these days, but I'm positive that many a great artist discovered her talents at an early age. Isn't that what we want?

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:28 a.m.

    @ drummer "our colleges and university might have to offer remedial P.E., and fine arts classes to get the freshmen up to the rigors of higher education"

    Are you kidding me right now? Remedial classes on these topics? You want freshman (or rather their parents or the taxpayer) to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars more per student on higher ed "classes" that do little if anything to prepare these "adults" to live in the real world, like hold down jobs, pay their bills, and be contributing members of society?

    So what...PE and art classes are now discretionary. Looks like parents can, oh, I don't parents....and teach their children how to eat healthily, exercise regularly, the "birds and the bees," and all the other things that will now be discretionary in public education.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 8:45 a.m.

    Abolishing the arts, health, and PE in middle school, relaxing the USDA food standards in school lunchrooms because "the kids don't like it", reducing air and water quality standards, using the opiate crisis as a way to garner votes ... this is a dark future for our kids to be looking at.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 8:41 a.m.

    "I reached out to parents because ultimately it’s their children that we service..."

    When a member of the state school board exhibits such an amazing grasp of the English language it leads one to worry about the future of our civilization. One would hope that the Board would serve rather than service our children, however this decision would seem to be the latter.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 8, 2017 8:21 a.m.

    Well, really--the only thing that arts really helps with, when you're talking about young people--is creativity. We can outsource that to the video game makers and The Disney Channel. That oughta take care of it.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 8:15 a.m.

    The Health curriculum consists of education related to:
    Alcohol abuse
    Drug abuse
    Resistance to peer pressure
    The changes that are occurring in their bodies
    Sexually transmitted diseases

    Which of these are considered non essential to a middle school student by our educational leaders?

  • cbasiefan Woods Cross, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 7:56 a.m.

    This doesn't mean that PE, the arts, and health are going away. It is now up to local school boards, districts, and charter schools to decide what will and won't be required. So it is now your job as community members to go to your district meetings and fight for the classes that you want offered in your middle schools.

    This was a state school board response to parent concerns about too many required classes. When they added a technology requirement this last year at the middle school level, it meant that students wouldn't be able to take the classes that they wanted to take, like orchestra and french (dual immersion programs), for more than one year. It became an either or deal. You cannot become proficient or take a high school level class if you can only take one year at the middle school level of one of these classes. This change allows for more flexibility for students who want to take arts, languages, PE, and technology. It also may require parents to do their job of educating their students on life skills. Isn't that what many of you want? To keeps schools from raising your kids?

  • drummer Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 7:25 a.m.

    So much for educating the whole child! Carl G. Maeser, who was instrumental in setting up Utah's public school system, would be spinning in his grave with this ill-conceived concept being even deliberated by our (growing ever less-astute) state school board. Without striving to develop every aspect of a child's mind, and body, our colleges and university might have to offer remedial P.E., and fine arts classes to get the freshmen up to the rigors of higher education. This idea is a lamentable joke!
    The most frightening thing is that some middle school administrators will take this as a cue to not emphasize the courses in question to bolster test scores and maybe even feather their own nests. Woe, woe, woe be unto you Utah State School Board!


  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Aug. 8, 2017 6:30 a.m.

    Solutions not Stones said: "Can I be a little personal here?
    As a middle schooler I was uncoordinated and a little awkward. I hated PE and the bullying that took place there. I would have loved to opt out."

    Amen Amen Amen.

    Have heard there are some school districts that have just 'outside walking' for that period.
    Certain kinds of kids like it (and do it because they can talk with friends while they walk and is a stress break from classes)

    For those that hate sports,
    who might be intimidated by PE class or by other more athletic students,
    who are over weight and can't or don't want to do traditional PE,
    who've been bullied and mocked in tradition PE class,
    who are uncoordinated, or mildly handicapped but can still walk, all those reasons and more probably.

    There are requirements so its not just a goof off time or strolling along, but actual cardio vascular benefits.
    The PE coach had challenges, contests, prizes etc
    The girls I know who did it LOVED it, lost weight, got healthier, had lessened depression.
    One used what she saw through the changing season in a report for a science class.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:56 a.m.

    Does teaching about sexuality and their changing bodies have something to do with dropping Health in Middle School ?Tribune

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 12:47 a.m.

    The problem is art, music and P.E. don't make for good multiple choice tests which many board members and legislators need to make money from these standardized test vendors. Hey, we all wanted "accountability" so if we can't bubble test it, why teach it, right? It's all about STEM, nothing else matters.

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    Aug. 7, 2017 11:11 p.m.

    Allow me to make my case for the arts:
    Society need to learn to recognize why the works of people like Igor Stravinsky and George Gershwin are still performed today and why people like Justin Bieber and Kanye West will be lucky to end up as a footnote in a textbook somewhere; why the paintings of Monet and Michelangelo are still studied and prized today while Frank Gehry's architectural creations are more likely to be viewed with confusion and disgust.

    Yes, there are many statistically significant cognitive and academic benefits observed among those that participate in the arts, but I think it's more important that encourage children to participate in those things so we can create a society that stops placing manufactured stars on a pedestal while real artists with talent dwell in obscurity.

  • Solutions not Stones Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 10:30 p.m.

    Can I be a little personal here?

    As a middle schooler I was uncoordinated and a little awkward. I hated PE and the bullying that took place there. I would have loved to opt out.

    I think parents and children should have a much more control over their educational experience. I support this.

  • jpc53 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 9:59 p.m.

    This is beyond belief!!

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 9:46 p.m.

    Sounds like parents are going to have to start being parents: exposing their children to the arts, physical exercise, health, languages, and the like, not expecting education to do it all for them.

    Look at your children's schedules and curriculum, find out what they're missing in their educational experiences, and orchestrate those experiences. If you think there is something missing, don't stage a protest: teach your child! If he/she isn't getting an experience he/she needs, make that experience happen. Parents are responsible for educating their children. Enrolling in school is only one mechanism through which to achieve that outcome...not the only one.

    It's sad when we blame teachers for childhood and adolescent obesity, diabetes, and other health and cognitive problems when parents are solely responsible for the well-being of their children. Educators do not and cannot replace parents.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 9:43 p.m.

    This is devastating news for the dedicated PE, art, and music teachers who may lose their jobs. It's devastating for those future PE, art, and music teachers who are in college right now. It's a tough pill to swallow for retired PE, art, and music teachers who may feel their life's work may be abolished.

    Those teachers who teach those subjects are often the bedrock of a community. They are loved. The state board didn't do their homework.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 9:13 p.m.


  • CacheValleyGIrl Logan, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 9:12 p.m.

    Tom.... you said "it's been a long time since PE in schools involved any significant amount of exercise."
    Not true here in Utah. I teach middle school and PE class is rigorous and active.
    It sounds like PE isn't going away, it will just be an elective? Choices must be made as more and more subjects become mandated by the state
    legislature. Only so much time in a day!

    Aug. 7, 2017 9:07 p.m.

    "Backers of the change said the amended policy will give school districts and charter schools more flexibility and enhance local control."

    Yes, let's just ignore the research that tells us physical activity increase cognitive and analytical processing. It is true that current PE classes have little to do with activity, but to go in the wrong way is just embarrassing. Flexibility and local control come before supporting the right things?

    With no health required, then I guess we just encourage kids to make live for a few more teenage years without knowledge of their own bodies?

    And Art? Art should influence everything we do. Without at least exposure to Art whatever we produce in our life is diminished. And, this comes from a software development manager. Then there will also be fewer who choose to create Art, just because we didn't expose them to it early enough, when they still could have great passion and inspiration for Art.

    I have taught STEM classes to thousands of students and there is a joy and passion in middle schoolers that often becomes apathy in High School, so missing Art, PE and Health in middle school is a huge mistake.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 7, 2017 8:29 p.m.

    Study after study shows that activity has a huge impact on cognitive adeptness. The arts help with problem solving. The raging crowd who think the 3 Rs are all that is needed to create well rounded, balanced and teachable kids completely don't get it. A kids GPA has almost no relationship to whether they will be a good parent, or a successful business person. Oh well....

  • Wyld Stallyns Rule Plymouth, MN
    Aug. 7, 2017 8:11 p.m.

    Bummer! Gym and art were my 2 favorite classes.

  • Tom097 Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 7, 2017 7:49 p.m.

    In their defense, it's been a long time since PE in schools involved any significant amount of exercise. The utter worthlessness of the present school curriculum is what should be addressed, though. Removing what little remains only makes the problem worse.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 7:40 p.m.

    Great. The USA has an adult obesity and diabetes epidemic. Now we've entered into childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes. Dropping P.E. & health is like taking away hoses & hydrants from Fire Departments. Dumb and reckless move.

  • Jmax24 Midvale, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 7:34 p.m.

    Why do we ignore research? Our state funded universities are funding research that tells us what works and doesn't and we completely ignore it.

  • Jmax24 Midvale, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 7:19 p.m.

    This is a short sighted decision. Research is abundantly clear physical education has the ability to help stave off obsesity during middle school years (see MSPAN study by spark). Activity is linked with higher grades, higher self esteem and how about not dying early. You can't use your brains if your body is too unhealthy to get you to work consistently. We should be looking for ways to enhance our pe programs not take them away. Last reminder that this generation is not projected to outlive their parents. Helping kids develop physical activity habits for life is far more important for keeping them living than anything else. People complain about health care maybe help the kids live healthier lives so the dr isn't as needed. Apologies for the random thoughts just laying out some things. Poorly made decision.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 7:07 p.m.

    It's a tremendous step backwards, this dumbing down of the curriculum. Latin used to be taught in small western towns in the 1800's. Our base intelligence levels are going to crater. But at least our kids will be happy future Republicans.

  • Elsleuith Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 6:51 p.m.

    This is totally insane. The arts and physical education are keys in life long learning and happiness. Appreciation and participation in the arts brings a sensitivity and quality to life that cannot be had in any other way. And as far as PE, well, sitting in front of a TV or a device all day and not getting out and getting some good healthy exercise is short sighted at best. Students and adults who chose to not get moving will have medical problems. This poor decision makes me wonder how educated the State Board of Education is. They need to get up out of their overstuffed chairs, get moving and clear their thinking.

  • hobblecrik Sandy, UT
    Aug. 7, 2017 6:30 p.m.

    In a time when childhood obesity and a dearth of physical activity is a rising serious problem, reducing emphasis on physical education is just misguided and irresponsible. I also see real value in arts and health education. Our children are the poorer for this unhappy decision. If indeed we're better off leaving standards to local control as the state board argues to justify their decision, and if local boards are better off with freedom to do what's best for their own kids to ensure the best education for our children, then the state board has just made the case that they are unnecessary and should be dissolved.