Wrecking physical ed: Ohio’s P.E. assessment for kids

On the list of absurdities connected to the national trend of evaluating teachers by student achievement are situations where, for example, teachers are assessed on the standardized test scores of students they didn’t have. Here’s an addition to the list: The physical education assessment tool that Ohio physical education teachers will use to evaluate their students.

Students had been evaluated in the past in physical education, but a new assessment which started this year is far “more prescriptive,” according to this story in the Columbus Dispatch. And as noted by the Fordham Institute’s Ohio Gadfly Daily, the student results are to be used to assess how well physical education teachers do their jobs. It said:

The Ohio Department of Education has, as mandated by state law, put together a 165 page “Physical Education Evaluation System” that is now being used across the state to measure the effectiveness of PE teachers. The document not only spells out the standards students are to meet in gym class, but also has a number of suggested written items for students to pass.

Not only do youngsters have to do tasks such as hop and skip and dance, they have to answer written questions. Here are some questions on the assessment:

Grade Band: K-2

Benchmark B

Benchmark B:       Demonstrate knowledge of critical elements of fundamental motor skills.

Task:                      Knowledge of critical elements of fundamental motor skills can be assessed by simple True/False testing. Most of the following questions and answers are adapted from the assessments provided in the publication PE Metrics (NASPE, 2010). Due to limitations of reading comprehension, it might be advisable to complete the assessment as a class with the teacher reading the questions one at a time, perhaps also demonstrating the skill or movement, and providing students with time to answer before proceeding to the next question. For this written test, randomly select any 10 questions from the list of 20 below. This should take about 15 minutes.

                              Questions 1-7 relate to locomotor/nonlocomotor skills, while questions 8-20 are on manipulative skills. In each administration of the test, teachers should select questions from both areas but should be careful to ensure that questions selected relate to content that has been taught.

1.      When you hop, it means that you start on one foot and land on the same foot.

A.   True        B.   False

2.      When you run fast, your hands should come across the center of your body.

A.   True        B.   False

3.      When you slide, you keep the same lead foot as you move sideways.

A.   True        B.   False

4.      When you skip, you step and hop on one foot and then with the other foot.

A.   True        B.   False

5.      When you jump, you should bend your knees as if you are sitting in a chair.

A.   True        B.   False

6.      You have more balance if you are low to the ground compared to standing up higher.

A.   True        B.   False

7.      To do a forward roll, take the weight on your hands and place your head on the mat.

A.   True        B.   False

8.      To throw a ball overhand with your right hand, you should step forward with your left foot.

A.   True        B.   False

9.      When throwing or striking and you want the ball to go far, you should only use your arm(s).

A.   True        B.   False

10.    When dribbling a basketball, you should always be looking at the ball.

A.   True        B.   False

11.    When rolling a ball, you should release the ball at the bottom of your forward swing.

A.   True        B.   False

12.    You should use your toes to kick a soccer ball if you want to kick it hard.

A.   True        B.   False

13.    When catching a ball thrown close to the ground, your fingers should point at the ground.

A.   True        B.   False

14.    For a good overhand throw, you should bend the elbow in the shape of an “L” behind the head before throwing.

A.   True        B.   False

15.    When dribbling a soccer ball, you should kick the ball far out in front of you.

A.   True        B.   False

16.    You should bend your arms when you catch a ball to help with control.

A.   True        B.   False

17.    When you roll or toss a ball underhand, you step forward with the same foot as your tossing arm.

A.   True        B.   False

18.    If you want to hit a ball further with your hand or a paddle, you should use a bigger backswing.

A.   True        B.   False

19.    When throwing to a target you should follow through toward the target after letting go of the ball.

A.   True        B.   False

20.    When catching a ball at head height, point your fingers upwards.

A.   True        B.   False

Answer Key:

1.      A    Hopping is a one-footed locomotor movement.
2.      B    This is false. The hands should stay level with the shoulders as you run fast.
3.      A    Sliding is a sideways movement (a sideways gallop) with the same foot leading.
4.      A    The skip is a set-hop action and the lead foot alternates when you skip.
5.      A    Bending the knees helps generate force to push off.
6.      A    Balance will be better with a lower center of gravity.
7.      B    In a forward roll, the hands go down followed by the shoulder blades, the head staying off the mat.
8.      A    Stepping with the opposite foot will help generate force.
9.      B    Power also comes from rotating the body and using the trunk and shoulders.
10.    B    You need to look up as you dribble so you know where you are going.
11.    A    Releasing the ball at the bottom of the forward swing will help keep the ball down.
12.    B    To kick a ball hard, you need to keep the toe pointed downward and use the laces.
13.    A    Fingers should point to the ground if the ball is low down and point upwards when catching a high ball.
14.    A    Bending the elbow behind the head will help generate force.
15.    B    When dribbling, you need to keep the ball quite close.
16.    A    When catching, you need to bring the arms in a bit to absorb the force.
17.    B    Stepping with the same foot will not give you opposition.
18.    A    A bigger backswing will give you more power.
19.    A    Following through toward the target will help with aim and accuracy.
20.    A    Fingers point upwards catching a high ball.

Benchmark B Scoring:

Advanced = 9-10
Proficient = 6-8
Limited = 0-5

 

There’s more:

Grade Band: K-2

Benchmark B

 

Benchmark B: Understands the principles, components and practices of health-related physical fitness.

 

Task:    The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of health-related fitness principles, concepts, components and practices by completing the following questions from the test bank. The questions from the test bank do not have to be administered during one test; they can be administered throughout the course of the K-2 grade band.

 

Level Criteria
Advanced The student demonstrates an advanced understanding of the principles, concepts, components and practices of health-related fitness (5 or 6 questions answered correctly).
Proficient The student demonstrates a proficient understanding of the principles, concepts, components and practices of health-related fitness (3 or 4 of the questions answered correctly).
Limited The student demonstrates a limited understanding of the principles, concepts, components and practices of health-related fitness (2 or fewer of the questions answered correctly).

 

Name______________________________  Standard 4B K-2 Assessment

 

Directions:        Draw a line from the health-related physical fitness component on the left to connect it with the exercise or activity that would help improve it on the right.

 

  1. Aerobic endurance

 

 

 

2. Flexibility

 

3. Muscular Strength

  • Crossing the monkey bars on the playground.

 

 

  • Running in a tag game without getting tired.

 

 

  • Bending over and touching your toes with your fingertips.

4. _______When I exercise, my heart beats ____________.

  1. Faster
  2. Slower

 

5. _______If I want to keep running or playing for a long time, I should

  1. Run really fast at first then stop and rest. Then run fast again.
  2. Run at a steady pace

 

6. Why should I exercise?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Answer Key:

1. Aerobic endurance = Running in a tag game without getting tired.
2. Flexibility = Bending over and touching your toes with your fingers.
3. Muscular strength = Crossing the monkey bars on the playground.
4. A = Faster
5. B = Run at a steady pace.
6. Variety of responses is acceptable.

Answer Key:

1. Aerobic endurance = Running in a tag game without getting tired.
2. Flexibility = Bending over and touching your toes with your fingers.
3. Muscular strength = Crossing the monkey bars on the playground.
4. A = Faster
5. B = Run at a steady pace.
6. Variety of responses is acceptable.

How detailed are the benchmarks associated with the standards? Take a look:

Grade Band: K-2

Benchmark A

 

Benchmark A:      Demonstrate locomotor and non-locomotor skills in a variety of ways.

Skill and Task:      Running – observe multiple repetitions of your students running at a moderate speed (this could be done as a whole-class activity). Repeat the activity asking students to change speeds at times.

 

Level Criteria
Advanced Consistently demonstrates correct running technique with a smooth and effortless rhythm, at a variety of speeds.
Proficient Runs while demonstrating correct technique (head up, slight forward lean, heel-to-toe landing/push off, knee lift, rear-heel kick, bent arms and relaxed hands).
Limited Demonstrates an incorrect running technique.

 

Benchmark A:      Demonstrate locomotor and non-locomotor skills in a variety of ways.

Skill and Task:      Skipping – observe multiple repetitions of your students skipping around the gymnasium (this could be done as a whole-class activity).

 

Level Criteria
Advanced Consistently demonstrates correct skipping technique with a smooth and effortless rhythm.
Proficient Skips while demonstrating correct technique (head up, slight forward lean, step/hop action, opposition of arms and legs).
Limited Demonstrates an incorrect skipping technique.

The six basic physical education standards that Ohio adopted from the National Association of Sport and Recreation are simple but it is the benchmarks and the assessment that take this over the top. The basic standards are:

Standard 1:

Demonstrates competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.

Standard 2:

Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.

Standard 3:

Participates regularly in physical activity.

Standard 4:

Achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.

Standard 5:

Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.

Standard 6:

Values physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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Valerie Strauss · April 5, 2013