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If P.E. Can Do It, Math Can...

When walking, why can't the right foot match the approach of the left foot? It would not only make sense, but also make for far less stumbling.

What do I mean, you say?

The Presidential Physical Fitness Award is being re-configured as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. Now, the focus will be on a student's health, not a measure of his or her performance.

Previously, the fitness award was performace-based, measuring a student's ability to do push-ups, pull-ups, and run a mile. For example, the criteria "bar" for 14-year-olds was 40 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, and a 6:30 mile run.

The focus is being shifted to focus on more meaningful criteria such as a student's aerobic capacity, body composition, flexibility, muscle strength and muscular endurance.

If these changes can be made on a national level for physical education, why can't the same be done for math education? That is, why can't we shift away from performance-based assessments to a more meaningful focus on a student's ability to understand, use, and problem solve with mathematics.

Source: Adapted from Education week, September 11, 2012