July 26, 2011
LEGISLATIVE ALERT – IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED!!
AB 1330 - PROPOSED ADDITION OF CAREER/TECHNICAL EDUCATION CLASS TO GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS TO REPLACE PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS OR WORLD LANGUAGE CLASS – OPPOSE! Click here to take action
March 24, 2011
California Physical Fitness Test Scores Indicate Less than 39% of Students in ‘Healthy Fitness Zone®’
On Thursday, March 24, 2011, California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson released the results of California’s 2010 School Physical Fitness Test (PFT) scores. Among PFT results collected: less than 39 percent of California’s students overall passed all six PFT areas and scored within California’s established “Healthy Fitness Zone®” (HFZ®) -- or, over 61 percent of California’s students could not perform at HFZ levels. The PFT results also reveal that of the State’s youngest students tested -- California’s fifth graders -- less than 29 percent could meet HFZ levels of performance; or 71 percent of California’s fifth graders did not achieve HFZ scores in all six testing areas. Read More
Facts and Tips:
- Some physical education teachers have expressed concern, anger, and confusion with the new FITNESSGRAM tables. Districts are mandated to give the FITNESSGRAM to students in grades 5, 7, and 9 and to report the scores to the California Department of Education.
- Teachers need to exercise caution as the FITNESSGRAM tables have changed for two aerobic capacity subtests: mile run and PACER.
- DO NOT send charts home that indicate the mile times and number of PACER laps required to reach the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ). To parents and students, the new tables appear punitive for those with a higher body mass index (BMI).
- Districts that have sent home the tables are experiencing calls from parents. Parents have even begun calling the California Department of Education to complain.
- INSTEAD, report the predicted MAX VO2 to students and parents and indicate if the measure falls within the HFZ.
- MAKE THE ASSESSMENT PARIDIGM SHIFT: The new tables are predicting the function and efficiency of the cardio-respiratory system based upon age, gender, BMI and performance (mile time or number of PACER laps).
- For students 13 years and older with high BMIs, administer the Mile Walk Test. BMI is not used for this subtest. Heart rate, time, age, and weight determine the predicted MAX VO2. This may be a better subtest for students with a BMI over 30.
- SEIZE THE TEACHABLE MOMENTS: An increase aerobic capacity (MAX VO2) means an increase in aerobic metabolism used for energy production. The individual will be able to move at a higher intensity for a greater period of time.
- Students in grades 5, 7, and 9 are NOT adults. Elite adult athletes with greater muscle mass and lower fat percentages DO have higher BMIs but they ARE able to run faster and further.
- According to the Cooper Institute, approximately 99% of students/children with high BMIs have high percentages of fat, not high percentages of muscle.
- Students with higher BMIs must run faster or run more PACER laps to demonstrate the same level of aerobic capacity as a student with a lower BMI.
- Look for the Understanding the New FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zones PowerPoint on the CAHPERD Web site in the Physical Education Advocacy Toolkit under the Legislation and Advocacy tab by April 8, 2011.
- Look for an article in the CAHPERD Jounal in the next six weeks.
- We will let you know when we find or establish a Web site that can calculate predicted MAX VO2.
Eliminating Physical Fitness Test Reporting
The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recommended to the Budget Committee within the overall proposed 2010-11 California State Budget, that funding provided to the California Department of Education (CDE) for the reporting of the State, District, School and Student Physical Fitness Test scores be eliminated and that the entire Physical Fitness Testing program be suspended. The stated rationale is that reporting of the PFT Scores does not offer a direct service to children therefore making it a low budget priority and that if PFT scores are not reported then the value of the test is so limited it can afford to be suspended for a year or longer. This proposal, if forwarded, would have a huge negative effect on physical education and the health and fitness of children in California. Based on past experience, even if it is not required to report the data, it is unlikely that many school districts will administer the PFT. Moreover, if it’s not mandated and administered, many schools and teachers may not provide instruction necessary to improve and achieve minimum levels of health-related fitness performance as measured by the PFT.
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