Physical Activity Policy
The Texas Education Agency recently mandated that students in grades three through 12 participate in a yearly physical fitness assessment called the Fitnessgram.~Houston Chronicle (Texas) 10/25/2007 News Article
A first-of-its-kind study of more than 2.4 million Texas students found that students who are physically fit are more likely to do well on the state's standardized tests and have good school attendance. Fit students are also less likely to have disciplinary referrals. The findings released today are based on the results of a battery of six FITNESSGRAM® tests taken by students in grades 3-12 during the 2007-2008 school year. The FITNESSGRAM® tool was created by The Cooper Institute of Dallas. The study analyzed data from 6,532 schools, which represents about 75 percent of the schools in Texas and about 84 percent of the school districts.
"Our state and nation are struggling with obesity, thanks to the combination of increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the declining quality of diets," Gov. Rick Perry said. "We owe it to our children to take the appropriate steps to encourage fitness, steps that are made more clear by the information contained in this first round of testing. I am confident we are on our way to making a difference that will improve and even save lives." Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said, "Texas is the first state to require an annual physical fitness assessment of public school students. Today's research results show that improving our children's physical fitness can have positive results not only for the children, but for the schools as well.
Tens of thousands of schools nationwide use the FITNESSGRAM assessment. These include individual school settings as well as large district implementations in cities like New York City (NY), Baltimore County (MD) Public School District, and Miami-Dade County (FL) Public Schools--and even statewide implementation, as in Delaware and California.~Texas Education Agency 3/9/09 News Release
Physical Fitness Assessment
Annually, the district will conduct a physical fitness assessment of students in grades 3 – 12. At the end of the school year, a parent may submit a written request to a campus physical education teacher to obtain the results of his or her child’s physical fitness assessment conducted during the school year.