California’s lackluster Race to the Top ranking in Round 1 (27) came as a disappointment to state officials, who had pushed for legislation to make the state more competitive for the grant.
Today, the governor and the state superintendent of public instruction announced they were proposing a new set of performance criteria for the next round: race times in the 50-yard dash and half-mile.
Schwarzenegger, who declared war on “couch potatoes” as chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness years ago, is leading the charge. “We test in math, English, science — why not test in the area of physical fitness too?” he said in a statement released this afternoon.
But the fitness evaluation wouldn’t be limited to students. The race times of teachers, principals and even custodians and food service personnel would be averaged and submitted as part of the school’s grant application. Schools with less than a 90 percent participation rate would be ineligible for the funds.
Schwarzenegger says he’s confident the state board of education will approve this proposal — which, he said, would hold school staff and students accountable for their speed and cardiovascular fitness as well as their proficiency in the “three Rs”. He concluded his press release with a characteristic quip: “Now, drop and give me 20.”
Happy April Fools!