The Small Details- Jane Nelson's Health Kick for Students? Or Wallet Kick Payback to Software Vendor?Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


The Small Details- Jane Nelson's Health Kick for Students? Or Wallet Kick Payback to Software Vendor?

13 June 2007 at 12:39:27 PM

Thought this was interesting from Half Empty of Houston. He looked at SB530, authored by Jane Nelson of Flower Mound, and, while no one could complain about the benefits of exercise for kids, why is there an UNFUNDED tool required to measure the new fitness levels? And how convenient that one prominent vendor, whose software will probably be used, happens to be a big contributor to Nelson.

There it is, “having a tool to measure . . .”. The tool, in this case is a piece of software written by one Kenneth Cooper, a Dallas-based “exercise researcher” called Fitnessgram. The program is in use in Austin schools, and is likely to be the program of choice for middle and junior high schools statewide. Why? Jeff Kloster, who is the Health and Safety commissioner at the TEA says “it will probably be chosen because it is the most widely used in Texas and one of the most highly recognized fitness assessment tools nationwide.”

Nelson’s bill provides no funding to purchase a site license for the software at every middle and junior high school in the state. Another one of those “we mandate it you fund it bills” that the legislature likes to foist on already strapped school district budgets.

Reading some more about this, I see that Dr Kenneth Cooper actually WROTE the bill that Nelson sponsored. How convenient.

"We need a better understanding of why so many of our students are struggling with basic health," Nelson said in February when she announced the filing of the bill. "Our health is fundamental. That's a lesson our students need to learn."

The bill was written with the help of Cooper, who approached Nelson and Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, with the idea....

The wording in the bill that describes the required testing tool mirrors language on the Web site for Cooper's FitnessGram, developed in 1982 to measure health and fitness levels of children. Since then, it has been used to test more than 8 million students nationwide.

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