The statistics in this story were shocking to me. About 40 percent of schools across the U.S. have slashed recess time. Many schools cite the high costs of recess and the need for more instruction time as reasons for the cuts.

I have to admit that I never thought about the cost of recess. I mean, don't you just kick the kids out the door under the supervision of the same teachers who would otherwise be watching them squirm in their desks? It seems the potential for unchecked bullying has lead many schools to fear recess time and the possibility that kids not in a classroom will run amok once outdoors.

Equally shocking to me was the stat that kids who got just 15 minutes of recess a day performed better in school than those who didn't. And two-thirds of principals reported that students listen better and are more focused after recess.   

So aren't we shooting ourselves in the foot by slashing recess only to avoid bullying and increase teacher time when what kids really need is 15 minutes to blow off steam so that they will be calmer (and less apt to bully) and more focused in class (improving standardized testing performance?)  

Watch: What happened to recess?
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