History

In 2003, the New Jersey Department of Education embarked on a landmark series of data collections designed to determine how schools implement the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in those areas not part of the statewide assessment program. Published in 2004, A Report on the State of World Languages Implementation in New Jersey provided valuable information on the status of world language education in the state’s schools. Similarly, in 2006 the New Jersey Arts Census Project: Within Our Power: The Progress, Plight and Promise of Arts Education for Every Child provided an in-depth picture of arts education across the state. In 2008, the third data collection known as Every Child Stronger, Every Life Longer focused on school-based programs that support the implementation of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Health Education and Physical Education.

In March 2008, all public school principals were contacted by mail and informed of the survey’s release. Every K-12 public school was notified that the survey would become active on April 15, 2008 and remain available until May 30, 2008. Principals were advised to convene a committee to assist in the completion of the survey. Once the information was submitted electronically, school principals were required to fax to the department a signed Survey Completion Form. Data collection was extended to August 1, 2008 to obtain final submissions.

In total, 2322 public schools (95 percent of all study-eligible schools) submitted the electronic survey. The survey consisted of two parts:

Part One: Physical Education

* A. Curriculum and Instruction
* B. Supervision, Staff and Professional Development
* C. Assessment and Grading
* D. Fitness Testing
* E. Recess
* F. High School Specific Programs

Part Two: Health Education

* A. Curriculum and Instruction
* B. Supervision, Staff and Professional Development
* C. Assessment and Grading
* D. Driver Education

While health education and physical education are viewed as two separate disciplines by the national professional associations, New Jersey’s mandate supports a blended model focused on wellness. The survey attempts to address the distinct elements of each discipline while acknowledging that the fields often overlap and may, in fact, be taught in New Jersey by individuals with dual teaching certification.

The survey provides information on who is teaching, what is being taught, how often instruction is occurring and how students are assessed. It does not, however, evaluate the quality of the teaching and learning process in each school.

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