New Bill Would Require School Districts To Have Physical Fitness Tests

Thursday, March 5th 2020, 7:31 am
By: Ashley Holden

A new bill is in the works at the state capitol would require physical fitness tests for third to twelfth grade students in every school district.

Supports of HB1051 said the data from the tests is needed to take a look at children's health in the state and provide health interventions if needed. 

Oklahoma is one of the top ten states for childhood obesity according to a recent study by the Robert Wood Foundation

House bill 1051 would make it a requirement to test kids aerobic ability, strength, flexibility and body composition. The results would have to be reported to the State Board of Education but would keep the students anonymous.

"If your're sitting you keep track of the number they get," instructed health and PE teacher Mary Chandler to her Wednesday morning class.

Chandler said similar tests are already a part of the charter school's curriculum for third through fifth graders. 

"I get a lot from it I get actual real data, and I can look at it and say these are areas that need improvement in my schools," said Chandler.

She said they use results from the tests to make goals for the students.

"To see them meet that goal and be super proud of themselves is just an awesome feeling," said Chandler. 

She said she would support the requirement and think its crucial to start physical activity with kids at a young age. 

"So not every school does, but its definitely something more schools should do," said Chandler. 

If the bill ultimately passes and becomes law the test wouldn't be required until 2021.

We were sent the amendments that authors are working on. Those changes include expanding the grade levels taking the test and ensuring children with disabilities are not required to take test. 

In order to read the bill, without the most recent amendments, head to the Oklahoma Legislative website.