In 2014, Chinese authorities introduced physical-education requirements that included a national jump-rope exam for boys and girls from first through sixth grades.
To pass, students must complete minimum numbers of skips a minute, and failure can trip up an otherwise promising academic trajectory. Top officials see the activity as an accessible, low-cost way to help build national sports excellence, a priority of China’s leader Xi Jinping.
Every school in China must administer annual jump-rope tests, issuing one of four grades: Fail, Pass, Good and Excellent. Only students who receive a Good or Excellent are eligible for scholarships.
First-grade boys and girls must be able to skip 17 times in a minute to pass and 87 to receive a Good rating. Boys have to skip 99 times in a minute for an Excellent mark but girls need to hit 103.
If this were the U.S., a natural response would be a capitalist one – entrepreneurs popping up to offer jump rope lessons. Interestingly enough, that is what is happening in China.
Jump-rope schools charge as much as $50 an hour to teach children as young as 3 the mechanics of what has traditionally been a carefree childhood pastime.
Authorities seem OK with such a response. Beijing has called for the opening of hundreds of thousands of fitness centers and earlier this year launched a five-year nationwide fitness program.
I like the idea of implementing fitness standards and would be happy to see the U.S. do so.
I am not sure if I like the idea of tying such standards to scholarship eligibility. If a student excels academically, then that should be the key criterion for an academic scholarship.
If you are going to tie jump roping ability to scholarships, then the cutoff should be the passing grade; not good or excellent.
I think I could jump 17 times in a minute.
Of course, another U.S. response would be to try and bribe your way into the college of your choice…
source:: Wall Street Journal
*image from verywell family