California Governor doesn’t dig PE exams: Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, wants students to stop taking compulsory physical tests in fifth, seventh, and ninth grades. Before some of us start celebrating, let’s dig into why the governor wants to change the way PE testing has worked for decades. One of Newsom’s arguments is that the tests lead to body shaming and bullying of transgender students who might not necessarily fit into the tests’ gender-specific expectations. Newsom also believes that the tests could result in the bullying of kids who are not able to keep up or who do not fit into the expected weight ranges. But Newsom isn’t advocating for an outright ban of the tests forever, nor does he want to cut out PE activity. He is asking for a suspension of just the testing for three years to give the Department of Education time to study the factors that impact physical ability and come up with a better system. Many transgender advocates applaud the proposal that could help reevaluate the system; others believe that the testing encourages students to do their best. The bill is currently headed to be approved by the legislature.
How would you vote? Should the Department of Education come up with a better way to measure success when it comes to physical education? Should PE tests be banned altogether? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.