Editorial: Physical Education Shouldn’t Make the Grade

Trey Wayman, Staff Reporter

In my opinion, a student’s GPA should not include grades from physical education.  A student’s GPA should be a reflection of the academic knowledge gained from their high school courses.  The grade should reflect the student’s mastery of subject material assessed in their courses.  Courses that include participation in their grading policy should not be factored in a GPA.  Participating in something does not prove accumulation of knowledge or skill and should be left out of the GPA.  Physical education courses are just one of these courses.

Schools vary on how they grade physical education.  Some schools grade on changing clothes and participating in the activity.  This either inflates a GPA or deflates a GPA.  Neither should be happening.  The instructor should score their course as they desire so parents are aware of their child’s performance/participation but then it should not be in the GPA because it is not an assessment of knowledge.  Other schools grade students on changing clothes, participation, and performance.  This will only benefit students that are athletic.  Their performance will inflate their GPA but it is not a reflection of knowledge attained.  Those students are just better at performing.  There are many factors that influence athletic performance, weight, height, out of school access to sports, etc. In “Physical Education Debate,” writer Denise Smith Amos asserts that students who excel athletically will be given a GPA advantage that has nothing to do with academics.

Instead, the proper place for physical education in the GPA is in a health course.  Health courses are designed to teach students about the importance and effect of physical activity on the body.  They are academic based courses that students are assessed on the accumulation of knowledge.  These courses are appropriate for the GPA.  Students are not unfairly disadvantaged due to physical factors or unfairly advantaged due to athletic ability.

According to DEBATE.ORG, 73% of respondents do not believe physical education should be factored into the GPA.  Only 27% agree it should be factored into the GPA.  Schools and government agencies are trying to combat childhood obesity and the need for physical education isn’t debated.  It is extremely important that students participate in gym class but it’s just not appropriate to include it in the GPA.