When we think about standard tests in education, let alone physical education, it may send some of us into a cold sweat. Thinking of the days when coopers 12 minute run, flexed arm hang, and push up tests were a common occurrence in physical education classrooms. A joy for few - but pain, stress, and anxiety for many. Standards however, provide us feedback of where we are comparing to expectations of others our age, size, gender etc. Do standards have a place in today’s physical education classes? Have they been replaced by participation or simply showing up? Has the pendulum swung so far away from standards that our only measure of the health of our nation is obesity rates and body mass index (BMI)?
Physical education matters when it comes to improving academic performance in the classroom, not to mention the positive effects on both short-term and long-term health. If you are a science nerd like myself and want some reports containing hard evidence to support this statement, I recommend reading these reports published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and UNICEF.