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The Cooper Institute's FITNESSGRAM Selected as Statewide Physical Fitness Assessment Tool
Date:9/27/2007

of our campuses have been using the FITNESSGRAM as an assessment tool for more than a decade."

More than 8,000 public and private schools will receive the FITNESSGRAM program this fall to prepare for the first physical fitness testing period in the spring-which will act as a baseline. Students will then be tested annually to measure any improvements. Once the data is collected, it will be compared to existing data on students' academic achievement levels, attendance levels, obesity levels, disciplinary problems and meal programs, such as the number of students eating at the school cafeteria rather than bringing their lunch from home.

"There is a direct correlation between a student's physical fitness and school performance," said Dr. Kenneth Cooper, known as the "father of aerobics" and CEO of Cooper Aerobics Center, who helped create and pass SB 530. "Data shows that students who were able to achieve a Healthy Fitness Zone in at least five out of six FITNESSGRAM tests scored higher academically and had fewer discipline problems in school. We are proud this scientifically- proven test has been selected for Texas; however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are asking schools to commit to continuing or, in some cases, implementing PE programs to keep students active and healthy."

The TEA will oversee the implementation of FITNESSGRAM statewide. Parents can request their child's physical fitness assessment results. The results will also be shared with the Texas Legislature each year.

In addition to testing, SB 530, introduced by Senator Jane Nelson of District 12, defines the level of daily activity as "moderate to vigorous" that Kindergarten through fifth graders are required to exert for 30 minutes a day or 135 minutes a week during PE or structured recess, which students began this school year. Starting the next school year of fall 2008, sixth through eighth graders will be added and must participate in moderate to vigorous activity fo
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SOURCE Cooper Aerobics Center
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