Dropping the Ball

Schools Fail to Meet Physical education mandates

In the midst of California’s growing childhood obesity crisis, ensuring that our children have quality physical education in school must be a top priority. Sadly, however, based on records of the California Department of Education that the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) acquired through a Public Records Act request, more than half the state’s schools assessed in 2004-05 and 2005-06 were failing to meet even minimum P.E. standards by not providing the mandated 200 minutes of P.E. every 10 days to elementary school children. The CDE records reveal a consistent lack of compliance throughout the state, regardless of the school district’s location. In addition to denying California elementary school students an important opportunity for physical activity, the lack of P.E. cheats them of its proven advantages: improved academic and behavioral performance and skill-building that leads to lifelong healthy habits.

CCPHA RESOURCE. In 2006, CCPHA released Dropping the Ball, a series of documents that include information based on the state’s assessment of physical education in elementary schools throughout California. The centerpiece is a chart - District Compliance Summary in California Elementary Schools P.E. Requirements 2004/05 and 2005/06 —that reports compliance with P. E. standards.

Click on the following links to view the documents of Dropping the Ball:


Some of the media coverage of Dropping the Ball is listed below.


POLICY RECOMMENDATION. CCPHA recommends that funding be allocated for ongoing training to ensure that teachers can deliver effective and appealing P.E. experiences.

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