Editorial: Unnecessary and Irrelevant

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Our Position: LT should abolish unit tests for sports in standard P.E.

The way that standard P.E. classes are graded at LT has been taken too far. The heart of this problem lies within the most irrelevant tests students will take at LT: unit tests for sports. From knowing the rules of tennis to volleyball to tchoukball, students have to spend time studying and stressing over knowing the rules of some trivial sport, and for what? What does learning the rules of something like flag football actually teach students? Why should students who may have tests in multiple classes, or classes they’re struggling in, have to spend time studying something that is completely irrelevant after high school? It’s not like colleges ask you to know the rules of basketball as a part of the admissions process, or jobs ask you the rules of pickleball as a part of the interview.

For many sports, teachers vaguely go over the rules and instead students have to pore over a study guide to learn the needed information for a test. Students who participate in sports outside of school are at an unfair advantage over those who may not know as much about the rules of a certain sport, and as a result those students’ grades may suffer. This is especially pertinent as gym grades count towards students’ GPAs, something that, unlike knowing the rules of tchoukball, colleges and jobs actually care about.

What P.E. classes do right is teaching about personal health. They teach students about diet, nutrients and what they do for the body, but only sparingly. Maybe a couple Late Start days here and there, they’ll show a slideshow about it, or students will do a worksheet a couple times a semester. Gym classes need to focus on thoroughly teaching students how to lead a healthy lifestyle instead of teaching useless sports rules. Instead of having a test on the rules of basketball at the end of the unit, teachers should weave lessons about certain fitness topics throughout the unit and on fitness days. They should then test students on this information that is actually important to retain outside of P.E.

Overall, unit tests for sports in P.E. classes serve no purpose, but by more thoroughly teaching how to live a healthy lifestyle, gym classes could become exponentially more beneficial to students.