Since 1996, California Education Code (EC) Section 60800 has required that each local educational agency (LEA) administer a state-designated physical fitness test (PFT) to all students in grades five, seven, and nine. During the month of February, March, April, or May, the governing board of each LEA maintaining grades five, seven, or nine shall administer to each student in those grades the PFT. The test designated for this purpose by the State Board of Education is the Fitnessgram®. The Fitnessgram®, developed by The Cooper Institute, provides criterion-referenced standards to evaluate fitness. These standards represent minimum levels of fitness known to be associated with those health and physical characteristics that offer protection against diseases resulting from physical inactivity. Achievement of the fitness standards is based upon a score falling in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) for each of six fitness areas. The HFZ represents minimal levels of satisfactory achievement on the tasks. The goal is for students to achieve the HFZ for all six fitness areas of the physical fitness test.
Senate Bill 896, Ch 1066, Stats. 1998, requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to compile the PFT results by December31, and to report results to the Governor and Legislature. Statewide data collection is completed electronically. PFT results are reported by schools, LEAs, counties, and the state. The results are posted on the CDE PFT Web page[http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/pf/]. These reports are available by grade, gender, and ethnicity for each of the six fitness areas.
Schools are required by law to include PFT results in the School Accountability Report Card (SARC) and to provide students with their individual results (EC Section 60800). The most recent physical fitness data are to be reported, including the percentage of students scoring in the HFZ on all six fitness standards. Data are reported for the state and for each county, LEA, and school for the purpose of comparison.
For more information regarding the physical fitness test, please contact the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE)/PFT office by phone at 916-445-9449 or by e-mail at PFT@cde.ca.gov. Information is also available on the CDE PFT Web page.