A bill on increasing physical education requirements, introduced by Sen. Susan Kent, DFL Woodbury, caught some media attention last week. MREA raised a series of concerns about SF 343 in its testimony to Senate E-12 Committee last Thursday.
Nobody doubts the importance of physical education — and promoting healthy lifestyles with students. MREA questions the wisdom of the mandates contained in SF 343.
Inside the Bill
Supported by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), SF 343 would reduce high school student elective requirements from seven to five and instead mandate students to obtain two credits of physical education in order to graduate.
The bill would also mandate the following:
- Require schools to conduct annual assessments of student mastery of the physical education standards and benchmarks adopted by the department
- Report the assessment results to the department and publish the report in the local newspaper with the largest circulation in the district
- Require schools to regularly assess all students to determine the attainment of physical education learning objectives, including student improvement and knowledge gain, using the outcomes recommended by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education
- Require schools to integrate into the curriculum developmentally appropriate health-related fitness testing as an instructional tool, except in the early elementary grades, and the testing must be used by the school to teach students how to assess their fitness levels, set goals for improvement, and monitor progress in reaching their goals
- Prohibit excluding a student from recess due to punishment or disciplinary action
The advocates for this bill will continue pressuring legislators to support it, including it in the omnibus E-12 bill.
Help your legislators understand that what else can be done to help high school students with healthy lifestyles.