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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Positive and Negative Influences of Large-Scale Fitness Assessment: Results of Testing with 3 Million Texas Youth
As teachers and students head back to school, a supplement to the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (RQES) presents key findings and issues associated with the statewide assessment of youth fitness in Texas. The supplement, "Texas Youth Fitness Study," provides an in-depth analysis and evaluation of data collected through the state-mandated health-related fitness testing of all public school children in Texas in grades 3 through 12.
Scott B. Martin and James R. Morrow, Jr. of the University of North Texas are co-editors of the supplement. "This series of papers is a must read for any individual, group, or state considering large-scale fitness testing," Morrow said. Key points in the papers include:
In addition, one of the 11 papers presents results of research supported by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) related to psychosocial variables and physical fitness in middle school students.
Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of The Cooper Institute, authors a preface and a final reflection with implications for the future. As Cooper states in the preface, "In 2007, we embarked on concerted efforts to increase attention to the importance of health-related fitness in Texas children and youth. The emphasis was on establishing a statewide database to facilitate tracking of fitness in Texas schools. Better data on youth fitness is needed to understand more fully the magnitude of the problem [childhood obesity and diabetes] and help evaluate the effectiveness of different programming strategies."
The studies focus on: the relation between fitness test achievement and academic achievement; the reliability and validity of fitness testing with large samples; teacher interviews regarding large-scale fitness testing; psychosocial variables related to cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index, and school and teacher characteristics associated with fitness test achievement. Featured are results of three years of testing and a year-long evaluation study conducted by scientists at The Cooper Institute, Iowa State University, the University of Illinois, and the University of North Texas.
The supplement is funded by a grant to The Cooper Institute through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Members of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), who select RQES as a journal choice, along with institutional subscribers, receive the supplement as part of their subscription. To purchase a copy, contact ABDI (866-759-5269 or 412-741-1142). The 88-page supplement includes 11 papers and costs $20 per copy (plus shipping and handling).