FitnessGram chosen as new fitness test


By Amanda Stickels, online editor
The state of Illinois decided to convert all public high schools’ fitness tests to the  FitnessGram test this year, which according to, is the most widely used children’s fitness assessment in the world. The state made this change to make fitness tests more standardized in order to compare scores easier.
“When you look at data across the state, it’s really difficult to judge one school that does this battery of test and another school that does [another] battery of test,” PE teacher Aaron Marnstein said. “It’s really comparing apples to oranges.”
According to Marnstein, the changes are that the 12-minute run is now a mile-run, the bench-press test is now a push-up cadence, the sit-up test is also now a curl-up cadence instead of a timed test and the sit-and-reach now tests the flexibility of one leg at a time instead of both.
Although the fitness test is different, it is still testing the same components of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility.
However, a big change is that the state said the fitness test is no longer allowed to be graded, not even on improvement. However,  Marnstein stated that this is not a way for students to slack off. If students choose not to put in effort during activities that are in preparation for the test, their participation grade will be affected.
To replace the grade of the fitness tests, the PE classes will consist of more cognitive material and tests. Senior Ian McCallister has experienced this in his beginner weight-lifting class. He said that they are learning and will be testing on different muscle groups and muscle connections.
Marnstein said that this new material is a good way to show students how their bodies work and why their bodies do what they do.
“Physical education is the lab for math and science. Anything that you learn in math and anything you learn in science, the laboratory portion is PE. If you look at somebody throwing a football, that’s trajectory. Speed of how fast you throw a baseball is physics,” Marnstein said. “We’re putting the education back in physical education.”