Frequently Asked Questions about the Physical Education Profile
1. What is the New York State Physical Education Profile?
The New York State Physical Education Profile is a State-developed resource that may be used to provide evidence of student achievement at the commencement level for the physical education portion of the New York State Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences (1996). School districts are expected to teach to the learning standards and provide evidence that students are achieving each of the 28 New York State Learning Standards. This Profile is to be used at the discretion of local school district to provide that evidence for physical education. Results are intended to provide evidence for 1) individual student achievement of the learning standards, and 2) when student results are grouped, for evaluating the quality of physical education programs.
2. Why was the New York State Physical Education Profile developed?
With the adoption of the New York State Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences by the Board of Regents in 1996, the New York State Education Department, in partnership with physical education professionals, began a process of designing and field-testing assessments to determine the extent to which students were meeting the State learning standards. The Physical Education Profile has resulted in a set of practical assessments that may be administered in regular physical education classes throughout the school year. Teachers and school professionals are encouraged to use the Profile to focus attention on learning, to produce or align curriculum and instructional opportunities, and to aid in local program evaluation. The Profile provides a means by which students and school programs may demonstrate accountability for achievement in physical education. The Profile is based upon the assumption that school districts provide the facilities and qualified teachers for safe and effective instructional programs K-12. It is also assumed that physical education classes meet the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Section 135.4 (time requirements and teacher certification) and student-teacher ratios are appropriate for students to have adequate instructional time and opportunity to achieve the learning standards.
3. Why do we need the New York State Physical Education Profile?
The New York State Physical Education Profile is the result of over a decade of discussion regarding accountability in physical education as in all content areas. Learning standards were established to help teachers meet the needs of all students in today's world. Learning standards were followed by the creation of set of standardized assessments that would provide evidence that student learning had taken place and students have achieved the learning standards. The New York State Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences (1996) and the New York State Physical Education Profile are the products of hundreds of physical education professionals across New York State who contributed their time and expertise, piloted assessments, and revised materials.
4. Who developed the New York State Physical Education Profile?
The Physical Education Profile is the result of over a decade of discussion regarding accountability in physical education. It was created through a partnership between the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NYS AHPERD). Hundreds of teachers, school administrators, university faculty, and State Education Department officials participated. The effort was funded through a Goals 2000 Grant in which the Jefferson-Lewis-Herkimer-Oneida Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) served as the local education authority.
5. Is the New York State Physical Education Profile a required test or grading system for physical education?
No. The New York State Physical Education Profile is not a test or a grading system. New York State does not have a required State examination in physical education. Grading policies and requirements for course credit are a matter of local school district decisions based on the goals of the school's instructional program.
6. What do the commencement-level assessments for physical education look like?
There are two types of assessments for physical education at the commencement level:
Sport and physical activity performance assessments that have been designed to determine levels of competency and proficiency in eight different categories of physical activity: Team Passing Sports, Net/Wall Sports, Target Sports, Striking/Fielding Sports, Dance and Aesthetic Activities, Outdoor Activities, Personal Performance Activities, and Fitness Activities. The assessments are authentic performance tasks scored on a four-point Rubric. Competent performance is scored at Level 3 while proficient performance is scored at Level 4.
Cognitive performance assessments are a set of stimulus-based questions designed to determine understanding and application of knowledge about physical fitness, personal and social responsibility in physical activity settings, and community resources for physical activity. Each cognitive performance assessment is scored on a four-point rubric. Competent performance is scored at Level 3 while proficient performance is scored at Level 4.
7. Who will take the New York State Physical Education Profile assessments?
If a district chooses to use the Physical Education Profile as part of program evaluation, all students including those with special needs must take the commencement-level assessments. If selected students are not assessed, the Profile is not a valid measure of the quality of the physical education program.
8. How can the Physical Education Profile be implemented by school districts?
While the Profile is designed as a commencement level assessment, it is important for school districts to implement the program K-12. For students to succeed at the commencement level, they will need solid preparation in elementary and middle school physical education. At the commencement level, teachers begin by using physical activity performance assessments from the Profile in one or more selected classes and/or units throughout the school year. As they gain experience, more classes and/or units are added. Many teachers have begun this process at the ninth and tenth grade levels and as they become more familiar and find practical ways of including assessments, the teachers phase in more classes. The same holds true with the cognitive assessments. At the commencement level, teachers are encouraged to begin by using a cognitive assessment in one designated class or one unit and then continue to phase in the others. By focusing on ninth and tenth grade levels first, students begin to understand that assessments are an expected part of their physical education experience and are less likely to object to the change in routine. Department based planning and staff development programs are very helpful for teachers as they proceed with the implementation of the Profile as an integral part of their programs.
9. How will the Physical Education Profile impact the elementary and intermediate levels?
School districts should make available a cohesive K-12 physical education curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and aligned to the New York State Learning Standards. The responsibility for student achievement of the Standards does not entirely rest on the teachers at the commencement level. Without a well-linked progression, students will find difficulty achieving the competency and proficiency required by the Learning Standards. Professional development programs are encouraged for teachers to proceed with the implementation of the program at all levels.
10. When will the New York State Physical Education Profile assessments be given?
Commencement-Level assessments may be given when teachers feel students are ready to demonstrate their achievement. Teachers may administer assessments and record results throughout each student's high school career. With adequate record keeping, students completing grade 12 can demonstrate their achievement for physical education Learning Standards 1, 2 and 3.
11. Are the New York State Physical Education Profile assessments mandated by the State?
No. The New York State Board of Regents mandates that schools provide instructional opportunities that will assist students in achieving each of the 28 New York State learning standards. The State Education Department provides the New York State Physical Education Profile for districts to document the extent to which students are achieving the learning standards for physical education.
12. Will the New York State Physical Education Profile assessments affect graduation?
Students must earn two units of high school credit in physical education to be eligible to graduate from high school. Students receive one-half unit of credit for each high school year in physical education. They need to pass four years of physical education to graduate (Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Section 100.5(a)(4) - Diploma Requirements). Scores on the New York State Physical Education Profile are not required by the State for graduation. The criteria for passing physical education are decided by the local school district. If a district uses the Physical Education Profile as criteria for passing physical education, students may have to achieve acceptable scores on the Physical Education Profile assessments to earn credit for physical education. Regardless, the basis for any grading policy is a local school decision and students should be informed in advance of the criteria for passing physical education.