Do you think that it is fair that kids receive a grade for how fast they can run a mile? My son is a straight A student, but has a B in PE, because he could not run the mile in 10 minutes. If they want to give them participation points and give them pencil paper tests that is fine, but I think that the grade on running is ridiculous.
I don't think PE should be graded at all. I think it should be Pass/Fail since all children are not athletic. If they show up and participate that should be enough. By the way, my daughter is athletic, so I'm not writing this as a parent of someone who isn't.
On one hand, if the kids knew that running the mile in 10 minutes was a requirement then I don't see a problem with the teacher giving the grades that a grading system requires. Also, how would we as classroom teachers feel if a specials teacher came to us and asked us to just give the kids participation points for an assignment that we felt should be graded.
Now, on the other hand, I can also see giving the kids a pass/fail grade in gym because not everyone is athletically inclined. Or as in my district, kids are pulled out of their specials for various different reasons. Yes, I'm in a district that gives our kids specials grades of exceeds, meets, below, or warning.
Grade should be on effort, rather than performance. Running the mile in 10 minutes isn't possible for some kids, even if they've had time to train. However, the kid who tries to run it should get a higher grade than the kid who walks around the track grumbling "this is so stupid"
is standards-based, but we're SB in my district. If the standard states that a task must be accomplished in a set length of time, then yes, the 10 minute thing is kosher, but if it's not SB, then it's maybe not such a good idea.
I walk a mile in 12 minutes and I'm 40 and overweight (yes I am working on that) so I think it's reasonable to expect a child or teenager to be able to run a mile in 10 minutes.
I mostly work with middle-school age children and high school, and they will zip right past me running up stairs, even the fat ones. Then you should see them running down the halls...they certainly seem able to run very fast when they want to.
I am not sure on this one. When I think about my own standards, I grade assessments on whether or not students have achieved a certain learning target. even if a reader comes below reading level I am grading them with sixth grade passages. I do not grade on improvement, but whether or not they met the goal. If pe sets the learning target at 12 minutes, then perhaps more practice or homework is required to achieve that goal. The student didn't fail the class as a result, but their grade showed that they did not meet the highest standard.
Part of me says why should PE be different from LA or Math? Some students are not talented at these subjects either. They are still graded on whether or not they met the standard.
But at the same time, if the PE teacher does have a standard (mile run in certain amount of time), I would like to know a)how is the teacher differentiating for those who struggle, b)what kinds of practice is s/he giving students in class to obtain this goal, and c)how is s/he challenging the students who already meet this goal?
Is the entire quarterly grade on one assignment? That doesn't seem fair either.
So I'm not sure how I feel. I definitely do not think 1 mile run (15 minutes of an entire quarter) should make/break the grade though.
We just finished testing our elementary kids on running the one mile and they were graded according to time. They get the score they earn. They get a grade for sit ups and a couple of other items, too.
Some part of the standards because I know our PE teacher is griping about all the testing they have to do.
Tchr&mom2many said almost exactly what I was thinking. We can't just say, "Well, some kids just aren't athletic," because the fact is, some kids just aren't talented in math--or whatever--either. We don't just write them off; we work with them and expect them to practice until they get it.
That might be the difference, though: In my own education, I could never run the mile when we had to (and we had 12 minutes, I think). No one ever taught me to do run/walk intervals to build up my endurance, or gave me ample time to work my way up to the mile; they just yelled at me to go faster when I couldn't. IMO that's just as unacceptable in PE as it is in core classes.
So maybe the issue is that we need to have consistent standards in PE for teachers as well as students.
The teacher has the right and responsibility to accurately report the student's achievement in his subject area. If your child did not exceed the standard, your child did not earn an A. What's wrong with earning a B? That's a very respectable grade. When special areas teachers only grade on effort, they are devaluing their content area. They should not be expected to do that.
I have to say that I agree with Logicat's argument. Our specials teachers rarely give As because kids rarely exceed the standard. I remember last year that one of my kiddos earned As in music and art. She struggled in reading that year and I remember making a big deal out of her grades in other areas because it was impressive to me. She was one of 2 out of 60 that earned As.
I would be curious to know if the pe teacher provided extra support or advice on how to improve the running. It might also have have taken extra practice outside of school to be truthful. I have a number of students who participate in sports teams outside of school. They tend to be in fairly good shape because they exercise a couple of hours outside of school and so usually do decently on pe assessments. I'm thinking that this is similar to the kids who read a couple of hours a week doing better on reading assessmets, even if they're not naturally talented at reading. While there's nothing wrong with a B, did you and your son know that this was the expectation? If he was unable to do it, did you practice outside of school to help him improve?
My first thought was that it wasn't fair, but after I read the responses and thought about it clearly, I have to say that I do think it's fair. It's just like anything else - some kids come about it easier than others and the ones who don't just have to practice. Does your son practice at home to get faster? How long was he given before he was tested?
Those of you who can walk a mile in 10 minutes - I'm pretty impressed! I finished a 5K walking AND running, and I think I did it in about 10 minute miles. I don't see how I would've done it with just walking alone and I walk pretty fast and I'm not overweight - although I am almost 50, so maybe I'm slower than I want to believe.
BTW, my dd made straight As (100s in most) with tough honor's classes, but her lowest grade was in PE. lol She still made an A, but it was a low one. We just laughed because that's totally her - she could care less about athletics.
I also agree that it is fair if that is the standard they are supposed to achieve. I'm wondering why you (OP) think it is unfair? Try to remove yourself from the situation because I can understand how you could be upset if it kept your son from high honors.
If your son received a failing mark, I could understand your concern. However, a B sounds like just what he deserves. He made a good effort, but he just couldn't get it done. It sounds like if the standard is running in 10 minutes, and he couldn't do that, then he is already getting some points for effort/participation since a B is a high grade.
I see the point about grading according to the standard, but I also think that PE is a unique situation. Think about the kind of effort an unathletic kid would have to put in in order to significantly improve his or her running time. It's not the same as just putting in some extra practice time for an academic class - and we're talking about a class that's not usually held as often as an academic class. Expecting kids to train for the mile and basing a large part of the grade on their running time seems unrealistic.
The only way I could see that working would be if fitness is the main focus of the PE class, and kids are given time to train and taught exactly how to improve their running fitness, with the mile run as the culminating activity. But in my experience, that's not usually how it's done.
At my last school, PE was a joke. Kids were supposed to dress out, but nothing happened if they didn't. The coach would sometimes let them choose a game to play. Sometimes he'd teach them a new game. But it didn't seem to have much of a purpose. Every single kid received a 100 on their report card. :-(
I'm at a new school this year and am thrilled with what they do. As far as grading, they have two areas. Dressing out and attitude.
But, these coaches take it to another level. They push the kids to the extreme and expect the kids to give it everything they have. There's a purpose to each class, and they'll focus on a particular sport, skills, etc. for a period of time. So if it's running a mile, they expect the student to have a great attitude, give it their best, and make improvement through that period. They don't expect it to be done in a certain time period. But they might make it competitive to get them going.
I have seen these kids come in soaked in sweat as they've been pushed hard. But they really seem to like PE. They also make it fun. For example, one day a week the girls do zumba. My daughter has actually come home showing me moves she learned in zumba. My son came home talking about scoring a point in a game at PE. Who goes home talking about PE? The kids at this school.
We've had exactly the same issue. My son has A's in everything except PE, which he has a B in because of running. I know they have certain standards and there is some official testing they need to do, so I was okay with the B. My son was upset, though, because his school makes such a big deal about having a 4.0 GPA and he really wanted that! I asked his teacher if he could make it up in some other way (biking, swimming) because he has medically diagnosed problems with his feet (ingrown toenails and plantar's fasciiatis). Unfortunately we couldn't do anything about his first quarter grade, but now he's got a doctor's note on file excusing him from any high-impact, running activities. He still dresses out and still participates in most activities, but he is excused from running until after his toes have healed. I personally love to run, so when my son kept complaining about foot pain, I thought he was just making excuses. I felt really bad when the doctor confirmed that he really was in pain! Do you think your son might have some physical issues that might affect his running ability?