Student Well-Being

Presidential Physical Fitness Test to Be Replaced After 2012-13

By Bryan Toporek — September 10, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Gym class could become less traumatizing for some K-12 students under a new national initiative announced today.

If you’re like me, you remember having to endure the Presidential Physical Fitness Test back in the day, which tested students in curl-ups, pull-ups, a timed shuttle run, an endurance run/walk, and the sit-and-reach.

If you’re like me, being faced with the prospect of 40 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, and a 6:30 mile run for a Presidential Physical Fitness Award as a 14-year-old was about as appealing as a daily trip to the principal’s office. (Let’s be honest: I’d be lucky to hit those benchmarks now, 10 years later.)

Starting next school year, the test will become a thing of the past. It’s being replaced by the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP), a “health-related, criterion-based assessment” which resulted from a partnership between the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, the Amateur Athletic Union, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD), Cooper Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The departure from the test, part of the President’s Challenge, signals a move away from measuring students’ performance and puts more emphasis on assessing students’ health, according to the PYFP’s website.

“To keep fitness in a positive mode, children’s individual fitness scores will not be used as a criteria for grading in physical education class and will be confidential between the teacher, student, and parent,” said Paul Roetert, chief executive officer of the AAHPERD, in a statement.

Under the new program, students’ fitness will be measured using the Cooper Institute’s FITNESSGRAM, which measures five areas of health-related fitness: aerobic capacity, body composition, flexibility, muscle strength, and muscular endurance. FITNESSGRAM’s Healthy Fitness Zone standards “represent the minimal levels of fitness needed for good health based on the student’s age and gender,” according to the PYFP website.

The PYFP’s website also includes a section devoted to professional development, which includes a free monthly webinar series on youth fitness and health. The first webinar in this series will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. Eastern, where the AAHPERD will walk through the basics of the new PYFP.

“Through the new Presidential Youth Fitness Program, physical education teachers will have access to the necessary tools they need to help children develop healthy lifestyles that will optimize their health and educational experience beyond the school years,” said the AAHPERD’s Roetert in a statement.

While the PYFP won’t be issuing Youth Fitness Test awards anymore, free PYFP school recognition certificates will be offered. Certificates, medals, and badges will also be available in an online store as rewards for students who participate in the program.

Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association, threw her support behind the PYFP in a statement released today.

“This assessment will be a great way to evaluate the health impact of physical education programs in schools and allow for a standardized comparison of fitness levels of children across the country,” she said. “The information collected can be used to inform course curriculum development, children’s physical activity programming, and policy change.”

It’s been a good run, Physical Fitness Test. I’ll always remember how few pull-ups I could do back in my earlier years, thanks to you.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion Educators, Be Future-Ready, But Don’t Ignore the Present
Being ready for what lies ahead is important, but we also need to gain a better understanding of the here and now.
5 min read
shutterstock 226918177
Shutterstock
Student Well-Being Opinion How to Prioritize Student Well-Being This Year
Use the Student Thriving Index to find out where your kids stand. Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure.
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Supporting Teachers & Students
In this Spotlight, evaluate your district and what supports your schools offer, assess attendance policies to avoid burnout, and more
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Child Hospitalizations Spike Under Delta, Particularly in Low-Vaccination States
Nationwide, the number of children and teens hospitalized due to COVID-19 has ballooned nearly tenfold since midsummer, new CDC data show.
2 min read
hopital stethescope 1222194507
Aleksandr Titov/iStock/Getty