Calif. kids still fall below fitness standards

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If you can run a mile and do 16 sit-ups and 24 curls without getting too sore or winded, you’re probably fitter than a fifth-grader. Here's more on what California officials plan to do about that.

Two-thirds of the state’s fifth-graders, along with their seventh- and ninth-grade counterparts, couldn’t do required exercises well enough to pass strength, stamina and flexibility tests.

Although Orange County kids tested better than the rest of the state – with 35 to 45 percent exceeding the standard – the results for students in LA and Riverside counties reflected the dismal statewide picture.

California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, says that dilemma presents an opportunity. Torlakson’s launched a campaign, “Team California for Healthy Kids,” to help children develop habits that can help them live longer and stronger.

The effort will connect schools with athletes and other local leaders who’d encourage kids to exercise more at school and at home. The superintendent didn’t specify how the campaign would aim to restore physical education time in school districts that have reduced it so students can perform better on other standard tests - in math and English.