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Standards of Learning

Making the case for more school recess

How did you learn that water flowed downhill?

For most of us, this question will conjure up images of playing in a creek as a child or splashing in the gutter during a heavy rain, but for children in the Virginia public school system, the answer to this question will be “my teacher told me.”

The Virginia Standards of Learning specify “water flows downhill” as a learning criterion for kindergarteners. Schools across the country have cut down on recess time as early as elementary school to leave more time to teach the content that will appear on standardized tests. But in order to increase test scores, should schools do the exact opposite and increase the amount of time their...