ISBE considers changes in PE waiver process, emphasizes meeting Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2001
Springfield – Future requests for physical education
waivers would need to demonstrate that students are meeting the Illinois
Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health according to a
policy being considered by the State Board of Education at its March
The Board action
comes as a result of testimony from a number of individuals and groups
that the routine granting of waivers may compromise students’ learning
opportunities in relation to the Physical Development and Health Standards.
new PE waivers would need to present baseline data to show how well their
students are meeting the standards for Physical Development and Health.
Districts requesting a renewal of an approved modification or waiver
would need to document improved student achievement of the standards
in relation to the baseline data. Decisions on waivers and modifications
will be made on an individual basis, taking into consideration the achievement
data, the implications of the specific waiver or modification request
and whether the request meets any of the criteria for denial that are
in the law.
As a result of
State Board action last month, staff will encourage all local districts
to implement annual fitness testing and also encourage the voluntary
use of the State Board’s written physical development and health assessment
for ninth and/or tenth-grade students. Districts submitting a waiver
or modification request will be able to use data from such assessments
as part of their applications.
Since 1995 when the waiver
process began, 185 school districts, representing a little more than
20 percent of the districts in the state, have submitted 313 petitions
seeking to waive or modify the requirement to provide daily physical
education. Of those, 311 requests have been granted.
The waiver law
authorizes the State Board to approve waivers of rules and regulations
or modifications of state law. Waivers of the School Code must be approved
by the General Assembly. The
General Assembly has approved 213 of those requests as waivers and denied
two. The State Board of Education has granted 98 as modifications of
the School Code.
Currently, 19 requests
are pending General Assembly action and will be included in the report
due to the legislature by May 1.