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FitnessGram Pacer Test is cruel

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FitnessGram Pacer Test is cruel

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By: Maya Brodows ’20

Recently, rumors that the FitnessGram Pacer Test has been banned under claims of child cruelty have been circling the school. I found out that the Pacer Test was not forbidden, but Staples decided that getting rid of them would be the best choice for students.

 

With the start of a new school year brings the promise of new classes, new teachers and another round of the beloved Fitnessgram testing.

 

The FitnessGram institution was established over 20 years ago with the purpose of assessing students’ health across the country in three, distinct categories. The FitnessGram tests were designed and implemented at Staples so teachers could observe a student’s aerobic capacity, body composition, flexibility and muscular strength through a variety of physical exams. These tests include running a mile, attempting push ups and curl-ups and, of course, the torturous pacer test.

 

Any student in a public school could tell you the dread that incites in their stomach when the word “pacer” is mentioned. It is during this test, by far the most taxing exercise out of the group, where a student is pushed to his or her physical limits.

 

Pacers are supposed to measure a participant’s cardiovascular endurance. To do this, students are forced to sprint back and forth continuously, gradually increasing their speed, until taking another step is physically impossible.

 

However, these pacers aren’t as good as one may think.

 

For nearly ten years, I had to endure the Fitnessgram Pacer Test. It was tiresome, it was painful and above all, it was traumatizing.  Although I may not enjoy running, I can recognize the value in it, which is why I understand the government’s need to force students to run a mile.  But racing to the point of collapsing (aka pacers) will never be justified.

 

Around 20 lengths into the pacer test, I would feel my body shut down. Embarrassed to be the first one to drop out, I would push myself harder. Eventually, when air was no longer circulating through my body and my heart felt ready to give out, I would drop onto the ground- a sweaty, motionless, ball of misery.

 

Worst of all, for days following the violent test, I would be sore. A painful reminder of what I had to experience days before.

 

Thankfully, Staples has decided to end the torture and stop making kids complete the pacer test. Hopefully, with all the tears and pain the test brings, other schools will soon follow.

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9 Comments

9 Responses to “FitnessGram Pacer Test is cruel”

  1. Bruce Pelletier on August 6th, 2018 6:20 am

    This is such a joke. Kids these are weak. This great country is going to hell because its just cruel to run this test once or twice a year. Bullshit

  2. Rebecca Hawkins on October 2nd, 2018 3:38 pm

    So happy to see you desiring to inflict cruel and unusual torment on the younger generation. Never have kids, /please/.

  3. Gigi on October 28th, 2018 6:23 pm

    Maybe this is a little bit overdramatic. I’ve taken the pacer test and stopped when I could no longer keep up with the beep. It’s no big deal. Students are to keep going until they miss two beeps. My throat hurt afterwards for breathing so hard, and my calves were fatigued, but that’s temporary.

  4. Janesa on November 29th, 2018 11:03 am

    Pacer test sucks! You run and run until your out of breath and you realize that you were doing a practice Pacer!

  5. Nathaniel on December 3rd, 2018 2:01 pm

    Wow y’all are weak. If you think that is cruel you obviously never ran a cross-country meet or probably never did sports in general. Complaining about it and saying its cruel are two entirely different things and it doesn’t actually harm the students, you get sore boo-hoo that just means your muscles are building up.

  6. Gopota on December 4th, 2018 2:28 am

    Man, it’s far from cruel. You don’t even get graded on it, and they do it twice-thrice a year. You’re complaining about being embarrassed about being the first to drop out. So, instead of actually putting in the work and becoming a better runner, it’s the government’s job to remove the thing that’s embarrassing you altogether? I was a really terrible runner when I was a little kid, but at one point, I decided that I was going to actually work towards getting better. I was 13 when I last took it, and I got 78, which is far from the best. It’s good, but it’s still not, and I never will be, the best. But if you can’t get 20, that’s your fault. Don’t complain to other people about it. Sorry that I ranted, but this is one of the things that really annoys the hell out of me. In the words of gamers all around… Get good.

  7. donald trump on January 15th, 2019 2:56 pm

    pacers suck

  8. Ramon Garza on January 17th, 2019 5:20 pm

    PACERS ARE EPIK

  9. Reagan on January 29th, 2019 5:43 pm

    I am a student in high school who suffers with multiple lung conditions and already has to suffer through the torment of gym. People saying you dont get hurt dont know what it’s like to already not be able to breath and then run until you cant breath. I have collapsed lobes among other complications in my lungs and even breathing normally sends sharp pains throughout my chest. It’s not worth it. I work hard in school and keep my grades high. I have a good GPA and I would like to keep it as such. The pacer test has multiple requirements and standards that have to be met and if you dont reach the goal that “people my age NEED to be able to reach” my grade SUFFERS. It’s unfair and biased twords kids who are good at sports and cardio heavy activities. The unfair grading system is irrational and frankly very frustrating. I understand the reasoning behind the pacer test and I understand what they want us to gain from it but the reality of it is that it’s a grade murderer and shouldn’t be graded the way it is, I’m fine with suffering through the test but I’m not okay with my grade doing so.

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