Just when children have been spending more and more of their free time absorbed in electronic media, public schools have been quietly reducing, even eliminating, recess from the school day. One quarter of elementary schools has eliminated recess in some grades, and up to 40 percent of school districts have either scaled back or done away with recess. Even in kindergarten, time for play has dwindled dramatically.
One reason for cutting recess minutes is to devote the time to basic instruction. in a survey of nearly 2,000 elementary school principals conducted by Gallup for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ), one in five elementary school principals reported cutting into recess in order to meet annual progress testing requirements.