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School districts tasked to measure childhood obesity

September 27, 2012
Salem News

About one-third of Ohio children are overweight, with some so obese their health is at risk, according to several studies. Yet to date, the state has not measured how well public schools are doing in combatting the problem.

That is about to change. Starting this year, "report cards" with data on how individual schools and districts are performing will include information on physical education programs. Just as report cards contain information on how many students are doing well academically, the new data will include their performance in physical education classes.

That is a good thing - providing the reports reflect accurately the physical fitness of students, rather than merely noting how many know the rules to various games. The state's goal should be to provide fitness data, too.


Arrogance among those elected to represent the people's interests sometimes reaches intolerable levels. Often it involves keeping secrets from the public.

So it is in Columbus, where it is known public school officials falsified student attendance reports to the state. City board of education members have been meeting behind closed doors - probably in violation of Ohio's open meetings law - to discuss an investigation.

At least some meetings have been with representatives of a law firm the board agreed, after learning the district was under investigation, to pay $100,000.

When a school board learns some of the personnel it oversees have acted illegally, transparency ought to be its top priority. Not in Columbus.

Scores of other districts, possibly including some in our area, are under investigation for the same reason. If it turns out a local school system is under suspicion, local residents should refuse to tolerate secrecy over the problem.



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