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Comparing California Student Fitness

November 30, 1989

The state Department of Education for the first time last spring tested the physical fitness of fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders. State Supt. of Public Instruction Bill Honig said the scores for the nearly 800,000 students surveyed confirmed experts' hunches that most California children are woefully out of shape.

The physical education tests are the newest addition to the California Assessment Program, which annually evaluates the state's students in academic areas. As with the academic exams, results of the physical education survey are intended to provide a way to assess schoolwide performance; individual scores are not released.

The test was developed by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. There were four mandatory exercises: sit and reach, sit-ups, pullups and mile run. A fifth test, of body composition, was voluntary and not all students participated. The results were compared against a minimum fitness standard for each grade level. Listed below are average percentages of students in each grade level who met the standard in four or more areas, three areas, two areas, one area and none.

Not all schools in California participated in the survey.

Here are state averages:

4+ 3 2 1 0 STATE AVERAGE 5th 15 21 26 25 12 7th 20 26 25 21 9 9th 26 26 24 18 6

Scores listed here are for Ventura County schools only.

Physical Education Test Score Results

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