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CA May Pause Fitness Test
News Bytes 02/6/2020 13 Comments

School physical fitness tests may soon grind to a halt in California. Governor Gavin Newsom wants to pause the tests for three years. The move is a result of concerns over bullying—and an increasing number of “not healthy” test results.

California’s current school fitness tests began in 1998. The tests include six parts. They assess flexibility, strength, and aerobic capacity (how well the heart and lungs get oxygen to the muscles) as well as body mass index (BMI). BMI calculates both weight and height to determine whether a person is underweight, normal weight, or obese.

According to the California Department of Education website, the tests “show a level of fitness that offer[s] a degree of defense against diseases that come from inactivity.”

School districts nationwide use such tests. Experts agree they can inform growing children about potential health problems. Sadly, students sometimes use results from tests and BMI measurements to ridicule others.

“The issue of BMI screening plays a role in the issues of both body shaming and bullying,” says H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the Department of Finance.

Since 2014, California fitness test reports show a steady decline in how many students receive “healthy” results. Scores have mainly dropped in the category that measures aerobic capacity—often by a one-mile run.

In the last five years, the percentage of California fifth graders scoring "healthy" in the aerobic category has dropped over three percentage points. In seventh and ninth grades, the drops average around four percentage points. Meanwhile, the percentage of students shown as “needing improvement” and having a “health risk” went up.

During the proposed physical fitness test program’s stoppage, the state would study whether the current test should be changed.

What is the value of physical fitness tests for students? What are possible drawbacks? What does God say about harming others with words?

For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. — 1 Timothy 4:8

(Students stretch during a fitness class at Capri Elementary School in Encinitas, California. AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

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Most recent comments

I had no idea that schools

I had no idea that schools did fitness tests. I wonder why the results are getting worse.

Its california

Hmmm....well, I am glad I'm homeschooled!!
They again, it's California....

3rd comment!

I didn't know about this either... @Lena P yeah I wonder that too

That's unfortunate that what

That's unfortunate that what could be used for the benefit of the kids is actually being used against them. You are what you think! By kids bullying the other kids it is planting a seed in their mind that harms them!


This is totally insane! Why on earth should children who can't pass a simple fitness test be able to make the school district change it, merely because they can't complete it? Perhaps instead of continuing to fail, perhaps they should be encouraged to take the logical course -- training to pass the test. It makes no sense to change the test to make it easier for students to exercise less, and completely defeat the purpose of the tests: making sure kids are staying healthy and active.
The basic claim for a regular test, as I see it, is this:
Tests can determine healthy levels of fitness
Healthy levels of fitness can help prevent sickness/disease
Students should be tested to help prevent sickness/disease

Here's the messed up reasoning that decides to stop/modify the tests.
Children can't pass at these requirements
Passing is good
Lowering requirements would let more children pass
thus, Lowering requirements would be better for children.

However, the problem with that is that passing the test does not prove a potential health benefit. It's the requirements that prove that a kid has the fitness level to prevent disease.

What I would say as a solution is to:
1) Keep requirements the same or raise them.
2) Carve out a portion of Gym period where children who failed the tests can get personal training with counselors/assistant coaches in the areas that they are tested on.
2.5) An alternate idea is an afterschool training/practice program for these tests.
3) Perhaps keep the requirements the same or slightly lowered, and increase the frequency of these to quarterly (I assume they are yearly) to keep fitness as a practice.

Essentially, many things can be done to improve the program and encourage students to stay fitter. As they have 3 years to enact these changes, I suggest they get on it now! lol


I get where you are coming from and it would probably work if everyone in this messed up world of ours was kind, but they aren't and people will notice who gets special coaching and bully them for it.


I guess the YMCA will get booming businesses!

Janna (Daniel's sister)

Of course people would make fun of others (most kids do).

I wouldn't expect that

I wouldn't expect that training before would help. most people would probably just train before and after the test just go back to how they were before.

running is good..............

running is good................................................................................................................................................................................
i ran a lot last summer and i got skinnier and slightly a better runner
also swimming, skiing iceskating sledding mainly outdoor stuff

they shouldent stop fitness

they shouldent stop fitness tests it tells people how to take care of there bodies better

they shouldent stop fitness

they shouldent stop fitness tests it tells people how to take care of there bodies better

they shouldent stop fitness

they shouldent stop fitness tests it tells people how to take care of there bodies better

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