So, Jordan—a mother with a second-grade son enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system—was blogging about the lack of recess. It pained me to read her words, because they are so familiar. After six years in CPS, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these same sentiments expressed by other parents. I’ve expressed them myself.
Usually, the talk begins with some parent mumblings on the school grounds. Then, concerns about the physical and mental health of small children get brought up at a local school council (LSC) or PTA meeting. But nothing ever happens.
Except that good people leave the system. One of my favorite school moms transferred her son from our recess-less school to a private school with recess. She stuck it out for two years, though, before she made the switch. I saw her, after the move, and asked her how the new school was working out.
“It’s fine,” she said. “But I’m basically spending 8K a year for recess.”