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Really Want to Improve Education? Look at These Test Results

What if I told you that nearly two-thirds of California’s kids do not pass one of the most important tests in school? Find out how fit our kids are.

What if I told you that nearly two-thirds of California’s kids do not pass one of the most important tests in school? 

I hope you would ask: “Whoa, what’s going on here,” or something comparable.

Well, the results are in for the California Kids Physical Fitness tests for 2012.  

Only about 31 percent of students posted healthy scores in all six of the tested areas—for the second year in a row. 

Holding steady at this low level is not a good sign for the academic and physical health of our students.

According to California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, “When we can call fewer than one out of three of our kids physically fit, we know we have a tremendous public health challenge on our hands. We owe it to California’s kids to give them more opportunities for exercise, along with better access to healthy foods and clean, fresh water.”

Study after study shows a clear link between fitness and academic success.  According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • “There is substantial evidence that physical activity can help improve academic achievement (including grades and standardized test scores).
  • The articles in this review suggest that physical activity can have an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes and academic behavior, all of which are important components of improved academic performance. These include enhanced concentration and attention as well as improved classroom behavior.
  • Increasing or maintaining time dedicated to physical education may help, and does not appear to adversely impact, academic performance.”

Too many of our children are not receiving the physical education they need during the school day. This is the result of the increased emphasis on academic testing in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) as well as severe education budget cuts in schools throughout the state.

There is some good news.

Local community and state efforts are helping to address this.

In San Francisco, for example, a private/public partnership Shape Up SF is working with the school district to support more physical education.

At the state level, Torlakson’s Team California for Healthy Kids initiative, engages celebrity athletes, community leaders, public health advocates, parents, teachers, and students in making healthy choices.

But if we are really serious about helping our schools and helping our children, providing quality physical education for all children at all schools must be a priority. 

And that requires funding to hire qualified teachers, provide professional development and make sure there is time in the school day at every school for physical education.

The California State PTA supports high-quality daily physical education for all children in kindergarten through grade 12.

For more health information from the PTA, check out PTA Health Tidbits. This includes health information, timely health announcements from government agencies and partners, events for the coming month, and grant opportunities.

You can find more information about the results of the fitness tests here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

denny rane December 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM
You sorry sack of crap. How many Reactionary think tanks do you subscribe to.? Forbes magazine.? Next you will be telling us that YOUR statistics prove Drones are NOT murdering 100's of Mid East women and children. Only "militants"..... right.? Of course the USA MILITARY defines ALL males in the region, over the age of 14, to be SUBVERSIVES until proven otherwise. Dude, read a book that was NOT published by Rupert Murdoch, GE, Stalls, Rove Water, or some other Fortune 500 corporation. Better yet, take a gander at Das Kapital. Learn how to crawl before you walk. Then you can play with the big kids. God Bless.
Steven Hanson December 16, 2012 at 01:48 AM
PE is the most important class? Seriously? If it is, then there's no wonder we are behind academically and play second fiddle to every country in Asia and Europe!
Gregory Brittain December 16, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Dear Mr. Rand: As typical for Lefties, you can't defend your positions outside your protected bubble so you quickly resort to name calling. My statistics and data prove my assertions. You cite no contrary info. The US military goes to great lengths to avoid killing innocent civilians when the terrorists hide among civilians. That you cite Karl Marx' book, Das Kapital, shows where you are coming from. At least you are honest about it. Most Lefties are not so honest. Marxism, communism, or whatever ism you want to call it has always lead to tyranny and poverty for most people in the country. They have killed tens of millions of people. The free enterprise system leads to the most prosperity and the most liberty for the most people. The record of history is crystal clear.
denny rane December 16, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Here is a fact for you Greg. Jesus Christ was the first well known commie. Why do you think the fokking Jews ratted him out to the Roam soldiers.? The USA Military goes to great lengths.? Did they tell you that in one of the press releases you call news papers.? Did you go yo school.? If so, you need to go back. BTW did you know the word naive is not in the dictionary.? Look it up. I am a proud citizen of the USA. I am sorry to say that its genocidal elite class is still breathing. But the USA had its day in the sun. The new power is already born. Send me an email, I will send you some news sources that are NOT U.S. State Department press releases. It will be GOOD for you to know the truth for the FIRST time in your life. Deir Yasin Gott Mit Uns God Bless ...
Steven Hanson December 16, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Chris, I taught for thirty years. I never met one P.E.teacher who thought P.E. was more important than academics. It has it's place in a curriculum, but most important? No. I do agree that things like music, art, drama, auto technology and other shop and practical skills classes have their place in schools too. Sadly, they are the first to be cut when budgets shrink.

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