California May Stop School Fitness Test


Andrew S.

School fitness tests can be very uncomfortable for less-athletic children

California is  considering ending School Fitness exams due to bullying. California Governor, Gavin Newsom believes that tests such as pushups, situps, and even miles can lead to body shaming and bullying. Some people such as Christine Maxwell, a 33- year -old who is supporting this decision is having flashbacks of taking these types of tests when she was younger. She remembers being embarrassed about  not being able to do a pushup, and hearing her BMI score in front of her entire class. Maxwell believes that everyone has different body types and says it’s unfair for people who can’t perform certain activities . She was pleased to hear that there might be an end to all Physical Fitness Tests.


 One citizen who is supporting these types of tests is Lindsay Stevenson, a 34- year -old. She remembers being in 6th grade and being completely comfortable with the tests that were administered. She says that currently, her son is keeping all of his scores in a binder where others can’t see or compare. Lindsay Believes that taking fitness tests every semester can help students see their progress, and set goals for themselves to get better in all physical aspects. A P.E teacher from Oakland says that when telling her students about annual assessments for the week, most of them were stressed to learn how much they will weigh.


Fitness tests have been used since 1996 to determine a student’s upper lift strength, flexibility, and body mass. In the late 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower learned that the United States was falling behind on the world stage compared to most European countries. This soon lead to the Presidential Fitness Test. When Barack Obama took over office in 2009, he began to worry about forcing kids to compete in boot-camp-style exercises that were humiliating to the people who came in last.   


  In 2012, President Barack Obama said his latest focus was to focus more on student’s health including their running assignments, push-ups, curl-ups, and sit and reach stretches. That’s when the Presidential Fitness Test was replaced with a program that focused more on students health than fitness goals. California’s law, which requires grades 5th through 9th grade take these tests. California’s annual reports of fitness tests showed a drop in the number of students that were scored healthy since the 2014-2015 school year. These Fitness Tests might come to an end in late 2020 through early 2023.