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Should California Table Its Mandatory Physical Education Test?




California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a a news conference in Oakland, California.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a a news conference in Oakland, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Citing bullying and discrimination of students who are non-binary or differently abled, Governor Gavin Newsom has tucked a proposal into an education omnibus trailer bill that was released last week that would put the state-mandated physical education test on hold until at least 2023 while experts explore the purpose of the test as well as how the state administers it.

H.D. Palmer with the California Department of Finance told POLITICO that the proposal follows complaints from parents across the state that because the test includes a Body Mass Index screening that only offers male or female options, it is inherently discriminatory towards non-binary students and students with disabilities. The requirement has been in place since 1996. Governor Newsom’s proposal directs State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to turn in a report with recommendations in late 2022.

Do you agree with the proposal to get rid of this test? Join the conversation at 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Debra Patterson, professor of physical education and pedagogy at California State University, Fullerton