(Washington, DC) In one of the first critical actions in its new role, the DC State Board of Education unanimously approved the District of Columbia’s first ever learning standards for health and physical education. These new standards outline what all DC public and public charter school students are expected to know in such areas as mental health, nutrition, fitness and sexual education. The historic vote came after months of working with the State Superintendent of Education Deborah A. Gist and staff, conducting focus groups, analyzing research, and hearing from a multitude of District residents including students, teachers, parents, community members, advocacy groups, health experts and members of the faith-based community.
The passage of the health and physical education standards represent a crucial first step in tackling such significant social problems affecting District of Columbia children such as obesity, teen pregnancy, and soaring rates of HIV/AIDS.
“I am pleased that the State Board of Education has approved two extremely important new learning standards. This is a historic moment for District residents,” says DC State Board of Education Robert Bobb, “As the public’s primary voice in public education, the State Board of Education is rigorously working on behalf of the children and parents of the District of Columbia. Our goal is to make sure that District students receive a high quality education.”
State Superintendent of Education Deborah A. Gist states, “These standards represent a very important milestone for the health of the students of the District of Columbia. They address a wide variety of health issues affecting our students on a daily basis, from issues relating to HIV and AIDS to obesity and mental health.”
The DC State Board of Education has sweeping new authorities over education issues ranging from preschool education, and graduation requirements to teacher licensing and adult education.