A greater percentage of physical education students in the Long Beach Unified School District are passing the state’s physical education tests compared to students in Los Angeles County and California as a whole, according to newly released data from the California Department of Education.
More than 1.3 million fifth, seventh and ninth graders statewide took the exams during the 2014-15 school year. Students take a series of six separate tests that measure aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength and flexibility.
Meeting five of the state exam’s six Healthy Fitness Zone requirements is considered to be a passing score. By state law, high school students who meet this standard qualify for exemption from physical education classes in their junior and senior years (though many of these students still opt to take P.E. electives such as yoga, dance, basketball, soccer and weight training). Using the five-of-six yardstick, LBUSD’s scores surpassed state and county scores at all grade levels tested, with the exception of grade five, where fifth graders here tied with students statewide.
“The release of these results is a good reminder that all parents and role models need to encourage children to eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly,” said State Superintedent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Torlakson noted that Healthy Fitness Zone performance standards for the body mass index (BMI), one of three body composition test options, were updated for the 2013-14 fitness assessment period. Thus, current body composition scores cannot be compared to previous years.
LBUSD’s curriculum staff includes a physical education curriculum leader who has helped teachers to focus more intently in recent years on offering students as many of the allowed alternatives as possible for students to demonstrate their fitness on the exams.
Go to http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/ for full test results.