Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stop JROTC teachers from getting Physical Education authorization in CA

If you're concerned the military's presence and influence in our schools, please act NOW to speak out against this alarming threat in CA. 

This will in many cases lead to regular, properly trained, civilian, credentialed P.E. teachers being replaced by military JROTC instructors. P.E. for everyone could become JROTC.  

Written comments are due by this Monday, 1/27.  Please spread the word.

Immediate Action Needed !

What is Happening?
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) will hold a public hearing on February 14, 2014 toadopt new regulations that will have a critical impact on physical education in California schools. There was prioraction on this in September of 2013 and the CCTC voted to move ahead with adopting these new regulations.This is the final opportunity we have to express our concerns and ask them to vote “NO” on the new regulations.

Why Should I Be Concerned?
If approved at the hearing, this action will amend Title 5 regulations to authorize JROTC instructors to teachphysical education.   A confirming vote will add a Special Teaching Authorization in Physical Education for Holdersof Designated Subjects Special Subjects Teaching Credentials.
Designated Subjects Special Subjects Teaching Credentials currently authorize the holder to teach the subjectnamed on the credential (Aviation Flight and Ground Instruction, Basic Military Drill, ROTC, Driver education andTraining). The requirements for a credential include: four years of experience in the specialty area, two years ofsuccessful teaching experience in the courses listed above, nine units or 135 clock hours in a progra of personalized preparation. You will note the deficiencies in the requirements when compared to the requirements for a full credential to teach physical education. The proposed change will require JROTC instructors to verify their subject-matter knowledge in physical education.
As you know, high school physical education courses require every minute of the required instructional time and there isn’t instructional time to share with other interests.  
Can we count on JROTC instructors to provide content rich instruction in physical education? Or, will they focus on military content and devote time to physical activity as it related to successful completion of military activities?

What Can I do ?
Three important  ACTION STEPS for YOU to take:
1. Share this information with everyone who has an interest in quality physical education in our schools and ask them to participate in our efforts to let the Commission know that this is not an appropriate action to take.  Share with your colleagues who teach other subjects as well. Ask them to write a letter.
2.   MOST IMPORTANT  *** Write a letter (see sample and information below) to the Commission expressing your views and encouraging them NOT to APPROVE these regulations at the February 14th hearing. Send your letter via Email to FAX (916) 322-0048
All written comments must be received by 5:00pm on January 27, 2014
3. Contact your teachers union before February 1, and let them know that we need their assistance in making surethis does not get approved at the public hearing on February 14th.

January 23, 2014
Linda Darling-Hammond, Ed.D Chair
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
1900 Capitol Ave.
Sacramento, CA  95811 Re: Public Hearing February 14, 2014

Dear Dr. Darling-Hammond:

I’m writing to voice my concerns about the regulatory action scheduled for consideration on February
14, 2014 by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The proposal to amend Title 5 to establish a special physical education authorization for holders of Designated Subjects Teaching Credentials in Basic Military Drill and Reserve Officer Training Corps should not be approved for the following reasons:
 The Physical Education Content Standards for California Public Schools, K-12 affirm that participation in physical activity is not the same as education. JROTC has different goals and outcomes than physical educationand is focused on participation in physical activity rather than learning the content of physical education.
 Approving the physical education authorization would in essence, give CTC’s “blessing” for a blended coursethat cannot be delivered with fidelity. The content and learning outcomes for physical education and JROTC arenot the same. Sufficient time must be devoted to the learning process for students to learn the content of physical education.
 Physical education is a science based academic discipline.  Effective teachers of physical education have strongundergraduate foundations in biological and physical sciences. This proposal does not require that foundation forholders of Designated Subjects Teaching Credentials in Basic Military Drill and Reserve Officer Training Corps.
The children and youth of California depend on the CCTC to make decisions that will provide them with well-prepared and exceptionally qualified teachers.  Adding an authorization to teach physical education to theDesignated Subjects Teaching Credential in Basic Military Drill and JROTC will not prepare our students toachieve their highest potential.
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Additional Information
Selected Rationale for Proposed Regulations
Communicated by CTC in the
Initial Statement of ReasonsDocument

Physical Education Community Response

Current basic military drill andphysical fitness training activitiesassociated with Basic MilitaryDrill and JROTC courses mayinclude instruction in some or allof the required eight contentareas.

Basic Military Drill and JROTC courses have objectives that are vastly differentthan the objectives for physical education. While physical fitness is indeed acomponent of JROTC coursework, the learning of skills, knowledge, anddispositions required to be physically active across the lifespan are absent in theJROTC curriculum. We have never seen a course that meets the objectives ofJROTC AND physical education and includes all eight content areas.

Alternate ways of meeting the requirements for physicaleducation as outlined in EC51225.3

JROTC is NOT an alternate way of meeting the requirements for physicaleducation as outlined in EC   51225.3. This section of the code does not providefor an exchange of content, rather a modification in instructional strategies. JROTC
does not provide students the opportunity to learn the content in the PhysicalEducation Content Standards for California Public Schools.

Some school districts grantphysical education course creditfor Basic Military Drill and JROTCand others do not.

Appropriate credentialing is one of several concerns associated with JROTCgranting physical education course credit.  See other issues.

Physical Education is an integral component in all branches of themilitary.

Physical Education is NOT an integral component of all branches of the military,physical fitness is. The physical activity that takes place in the military settingspreparation for military tasks and does not include learning the necessary skillsand
knowledge pieces to design, carry out, evaluate, and adjust one physical activityprogram.

Current Basic Military Drill andROTC special subjects teachingcredentials do not currently include a specific physicaleducation teaching authorization.

Because JROTC course are not physical education courses, they do not includea specific physical education teaching authorization.  One could make the casethat because military history is included in JROTC, social science credit shouldbe granted for these courses.

Districts that are willing to allow Basic Military Drill or JROTC courses to satisfy high school graduation requirements often require these classes to be taught byindividuals who hold a Single Subject Teaching Credential inPhysical Education.

Those that insist upon a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physical Education are following currentcode and regulations.

Since many instructors in Basic Military Drill and JROTCprograms do not have a bachelor’s degree, they do notmeet the basic requirements for earning the Single SubjectTeaching Credential.

Teachers who do not hold a bachelors degree are notpermitted to teach any other subject in California.Why would the CTC think that it is permissible forteachers to teach physical education?  Theundergraduate degree provides importantfoundations for all teachers.

Pupils attending schools that do not grant physical education course credit for Basic Military Drill and JROTCare required to enroll in traditional physical educationcourses to meet graduation requirements. Thereby creatingthe potential for enrollment declines in Basic Military Drilland JROTC programs.

Enrollment declines in JROTC should not be a concern of physical education. Nor should thepromotion of these programs be placed anywherebut within JROTC.

A review of the 49 other states revealed that there are currently 9 states that allow JROTC courses to satisfy the physical education graduation requirement.

9 of 49 states is hardly enough to say it is a national trend that JROTC courses should be used to grantphysical education courses credit. Of the 9 cited in the document, 6 are permissive rather
than prescriptive, using the term “may”. No information is available for other decision making factors.

Read the CTC Documents thaare available online for the hearing:

Published abstracto be presenteathe AAHPERD National Convention in April 2014. The entire article iscurrently under review for publication.

Title:  Using SOFIT to Compare High School Physical Education and JROTC

Authors: Monica A.F. Lounsbery, Kathryn A. Holt, Thomas L. McKenzie, & Shannon A. Monnat

Background/Purpose: Physical education (PE) is important for engaging students in health-enhancing physical activity (PA) and for developing physical fitness and movement skills. PE is mandated as a curricular area in all
50 states, but many policy barriers to its effective delivery exist. Among these policy barriers is the practice of
allowing alternative programs, such as Junior Officer Reserve Corp (JROTC), to substitute for PE in high schools. Advocates supporting substitution policies typically argue that these alternative programs engage students insubstantial amounts of PA and provide the content that meets PE standards. Data supporting these argumentsare not yet forthcoming. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the conduct of PE and a commonlysubstitution program (JROTC) using direct observation.

Method: Two observers, trained via a standardized protocol, employed a validated and frequently usedinstrument, SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time), to assess student physical activity levels andthe lesson contexts of 38 PE and 38 JROTC classes in 4 high schools. The schools were randomly selected from12 district schools that provided both PE and JROTC. Data were analyzed using two-tailed t-tests.

Analysis/Results: Inter-observer reliabilities exceeded 90% for both student activity and lesson context variables.Students engaged in relatively more time in Walking (49 vs. 19%; p<.001), Vigorous (11 vs. 4%; p<.001), andModerate-to-Vigorous PA (61 vs. 23%; p<.001) in PE than during JROTC. Conversely, they spent significantly lesstime Sitting (17 vs. 47%; p<.001), Standing, (22 vs. 30%; p<.05), and engaged in sedentary behavior (39 vs. 77%p<.001). Relative to lesson context, management time for both programs were similar (about 31% of lessons), butPE teachers allocated significantly more time for physical fitness (20 vs. 9%; p<.05) and game play (30 vs. 5%;p<.001) and teachers of JROTC lessons allocated significantly more time for knowledge (38 vs. 6%; p<.001).Knowledge time during PE primarily focused on physical fitness, motor skill development, and game strategyconcepts. In contrast, most knowledge time (83%) in JROTC focused on drill, inspections, and military history andstrategies.

Conclusions: JROTC and PE provide substantially different content, contexts, and opportunities for students to be physically active, learn movement skills, and become physically fit. Policies and practices for permitting substitutions for PE should be carefully examined. Replications of this study using the direct observation of otherprograms frequently permitted to substitute for PE (e.g., marching band) are recommended.

Education Code Section 51225.3

(b) The governing board, with the active involvement of parents, administrators, teachers, and pupils, shall adoptalternative means for pupils to complete the prescribed course of study that may include practical demonstrationof skills and competencies, supervised work experience or other outside school experience, career technicaleducation classes offered in high schools, courses offered by regional occupational centers or programs,interdisciplinary study, independent study, and credit earned at a postsecondary educational institution. Requirements for graduation and specified alternative modes for completing the prescribed course of study shallbe made available to pupils, parents, and the public.

Discussion on E51225.3
This section of the California Education Code encourages the governing board and local school districtstakeholders to adopt alternative means for pupils to complete the prescribed course of study.  You’ll note that itdoes not suggest that course content can be substituted or altered in those prescribed courses.


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