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LAUSD Students Are Really Out of Shape

Denis Kuvaev /
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It turns out Los Angeles schoolchildren can't keep up with the rest of the state in fitness. In figures released on Wednesday LAUSD fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders lagged behind their counterparts in the state according to the California Department of Education.

Each year the state tests the students in six fitness categories: aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk strength, upper body strength and flexibility.

For the LAUSD kids tested in the 2012-13 school year, 18.7 percent of fifth graders passed all six categories along with 21.4 percent of seventh graders and 28.4 percent of ninth graders. That's consistent with last year's numbers which were 18.8 percent, 22.7 percent and 28 percent respectively.

The numbers lagged behind the state numbers which saw 25.5 percent of fifth graders, 32.4 percent of seventh graders 36.5 percent of ninth graders passing.

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"The simple fact is that health kids learn better,'' state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson told City News Service.

Perhaps the starkest figures come when comparisons between economically disadvantaged and the not economically disadvantaged numbers are made.

Economically disadvantaged passing all six criteria: 19.3 of fifth graders; 26 of seventh graders; 29.7 of ninth graders.

Not economically disadvantaged passing all six criteria: 36.4 of fifth graders; 42.9 of seventh graders; 46.4 of ninth graders.

All numbers are available on the California Department of Education DataQuest website selecting the subject "Physical Fitness Test".