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California Action Needed Today, January 27,2014- 5PM PST: URGENT-Stop JROTC teachers from getting Physical Education authorization in CA

Immediate Action Needed !

What is Happening?

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) will hold a public hearing on February 14, 2014 to adopt new regulations that will have a critical impact on physical education in California schools. There was prior action 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 teach physical education. A confirming vote will add a Special Teaching Authorization in Physical Education for Holders of Designated Subjects Special Subjects Teaching Credentials.

Designated Subjects Special Subjects Teaching Credentials currently authorize the holder to teach the subject named on the credential (Aviation Flight and Ground Instruction, Basic Military Drill, ROTC, Driver education and Training). The requirements for a credential include: four years of experience in the specialty area, two years of successful 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?

More on JROTC here:

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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 sure this 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 education and 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 course that cannot be delivered with fidelity. The content and learning outcomes for physical education and JROTC are not 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 strong undergraduate foundations in biological and physical sciences. This proposal does not require that foundation for holders 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 the Designated Subjects Teaching Credential in Basic Military Drill and JROTC will not prepare our students to achieve their highest potential.


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Additional Information

Selected Rationale for Proposed Regulations

Communicated by CTC in the
Initial Statement of Reasons Document
Physical Education Community Response
Current basic military drill and physical fitness training activities associated with Basic Military Drill and JROTC courses may include instruction in some or all of the required eight content areas Basic Military Drill and JROTC courses have objectives that are vastly different than the objectives for physical education. While physical fitness is indeed a component of JROTC coursework, the learning of skills, knowledge, and dispositions required to be physically active across the lifespan are absent in the JROTC curriculum. We have never seen a course that meets the objectives of JROTC AND physical education and includes all eight content areas.
Alternate ways of meeting the requirements for physical education as outlined in EC 51225.3 JROTC is NOT an alternate way of meeting the requirements for physical education as outlined in EC 51225.3. This section of the code does not provide for an exchange of content, rather a modification in instructional strategies. JROTC does not provide students the opportunity to learn the content in the Physical Education Content Standards for California Public Schools.
Some school districts grant physical education course credit for Basic Military Drill and JROTC and others do not. Appropriate credentialing is one of several concerns associated with JROTC granting physical education course credit. See other issues.
Physical Education is an integral component in all branches of the military. 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 settings preparation for military tasks and does not include learning the necessary skills and knowledge pieces to design, carry out, evaluate, and adjust one physical activity program.
Current Basic Military Drill and ROTC special subjects teaching credentials do not currently include a specific physical education teaching authorization. Because JROTC course are not physical education courses, they do not include a specific physical education teaching authorization. One could make the case that because military history is included in JROTC, social science credit should be 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 by individuals who hold a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physical Education. Those that insist upon a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physical Education are following current code and regulations.
Since many instructors in Basic Military Drill and JROTC programs do not have a bachelor’s degree, they do not meet the basic requirements for earning the Single Subject Teaching Credential. Teachers who do not hold a bachelors degree are not permitted to teach any other subject in California. Why would the CTC think that it is permissible for teachers to teach physical education? The undergraduate degree provides important foundations for all teachers.
Pupils attending schools that do not grant physical education course credit for Basic Military Drill and JROTC are required to enroll in traditional physical education courses to meet graduation requirements. Thereby creating the potential for enrollment declines in Basic Military Drill and JROTC programs. Enrollment declines in JROTC should not be a concern of physical education. Nor should the promotion of these programs be placed anywhere but 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 grant physical 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 that are available online for the hearing:

Published abstract to be presented at the AAHPERD National Convention in April 2014. The entire article is currently 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 in substantial amounts of PA and provide the content that meets PE standards. Data supporting these arguments are not yet forthcoming. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the conduct of PE and a commonly substitution program (JROTC) using direct observation.

Method: Two observers, trained via a standardized protocol, employed a validated and frequently used instrument, SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time), to assess student physical activity levels and the lesson contexts of 38 PE and 38 JROTC classes in 4 high schools. The schools were randomly selected from 12 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), and Moderate-to-Vigorous PA (61 vs. 23%; p<.001) in PE than during JROTC. Conversely, they spent significantly less time 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), but PE 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 strategy concepts. In contrast, most knowledge time (83%) in JROTC focused on drill, inspections, and military history and strategies.

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 other programs 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 adopt alternative means for pupils to complete the prescribed course of study that may include practical demonstration of skills and competencies, supervised work experience or other outside school experience, career technical education 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 shall be made available to pupils, parents, and the public.

Discussion on EC 51225.3

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

Michelle Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

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