We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The US Army introduced fitness tests in 1943. They have relaxed their standards since.
When I began high school, every entering boy had to take the test while the coaches recorded. They were looking for athletic potential. If you didn't pass, you had to do a semester of remedial fitness before you could even do a (required) intramural sport - or even a JV sport. The remedial fitness was a bitch. 2 1/2 hours each afternoon. Ex-USMC math teacher was the coach. He made overweight kids go on diets and run extra unless they needed a JV fullback. Good stuff if you could handle a little humiliation. Runs, sprints, lifting, squats, football sleds, sit-up marathons, pushup marathons, etc. I flunked on the pull-ups. They also had a swim speed test which I handled easily but I didn't want the swim team. I still stink at pull-ups.
I doubt that a public school could make such demands on kids. Funny, as I reflect on it: We had riflery and shotgun teams too, but they were extracurriculars, did not count as sports. Still do, I am sure. Heck, even girls' summer camps have them today. A Bird Dog daughter was an NRA-certified riflery and archery coach/counselor at a girls' camp.
When I started high school we got all new coaches because the old ones had been discovered to have been nailing 16 and 17 yr old girls. Perhaps some boys as well, but that kind of thing would have been hushed up back then.
And while I see the utility of your socialistic testing and conformity enforce up on individuals, I for one, even with the damn hippies and domestic terrorists that came out of it, am glad that America turned back toward the individual liberties culture she was founded on.
The socialism imposed on society in the '50 and '60s after having so many trained to obedience during WWII demonstrates how vulnerable true individual liberty is in a society buffeted by wars.
Bird Dog: "I doubt that a public school could make such demands on kids."
Sadly, it is true. I am showing my age when I say that, while we didn't have it as tough as those going to war, we did have standards that we all had to meet in gym class when I was in high school.
Today, the attitude seems to be, well, if you can't do a pull-up that is okay. If you can't run, that is okay, etc.
In my opinion, we should have minimum physical activity standards; just like any other class (Math, Science, English) gym class should also have some minimum standards. They don't need to be over the top; but, something instead of nothing would be a good start.
Obviously, those with true physical handicaps would be exempt; but, most should met some sort of minimum standard.
There is no reason to expect now to equal then in terms of fitness. Most people do not do all-day physical work. The Army PT test of 1964 (my enlistment year) was at least as difficult as the 1940s test.
Impressive scores here. 20 pull ups is tough. 54 push ups is nothing to sneeze at, neither is a 44 sec 300 yd run.
What I realized about my physical "education" class is that they taught nothing. Maybe some games: sometimes sports, sometimes ridiculous contrived activities; all squeezed in a 50 min period where you had to change clothes (twice) and shower.
If not physical development, at least do real education. Take a few weeks and teach kids techniques and rules to real sports: football, basketball, wrestling. Even running has technique. Give them a few weeks to practice.
My phys ed in Jr High in the 50's was mostly sports for 45 minutes. There was some required excercises and there were tests. The tough one for most of the kids was climbing the rope up 40 feet or so and back down. The rest seemed easy. 100 sit ups so we would do 200 to show off. Pushups too seemed awful easy back then.