Monday, October 10, 2011

8 Minute Mile is an A but if its a 13 minute Mile you get a D MINUS!

Does that headline infuriate you as much as it does me? Well my friends that is the state of our public school system. With out going into details or names here's the story. Teenager runs a mile for gym class, runs this mile 3 times and improvs on the time each run. To prepare for the mile runs, student practices speed walking in gym. Gym grade is a part of your GPA, in this particular gym class IF you run the mile in 8 minutes or less you will get an A but if you run it in 12 minutes you will get a D, 13 minutes you get an F.

This if FLAT OUT B.S and this teacher has no clue about running what so ever. The only teenagers that are going to get 8 minute miles are the track and cross country athletes. You do NOT grade the mile based on speed.  You MUST take into consideration their athletic ability, how hard they worked, how much they tried, what kind of training they were provided and how much improvement they made. You cannot expect a 13 minute miler to go from 13 to 8 in a matter of 6-9 weeks, it's flat out IMPOSSIBLE! My very first mile when I started running was 13 minutes. When I started this sport seriously it was a 10 and that was only because the treadmill forced me to do it and I was DYING 1/2 way into it. I did not go from 13 to 8 in a matter of weeks either. I've been at this for almost 2 years now. I don't know what my just one mile time is because I've never done it but my best 5k Mile was a 7:45 and I was nearly dying by the end and have yet to do that pace again.

I'm so angry about this whole situation. I don't think every kid should be given a trophy. I don't believe every kid should get an award because they tried. I don't think anyone should be handed a good grade or a award simply because they showed up and tried. But as a runner I also know that what this teacher is expecting is 100% unfair and unattainable. And because gym is now part of a GPA this is hurting that average because someone isn't an athlete. Not everyone is book smart, not everyone is an athlete, not everyone is gifted with a good singing voice. In other classes students are graded on the effort and how hard they study. That effort shows when they take exams or participate in class rooms and in their work. That same grading should go into the mile run!

When you run and when you improve it shows and yes shaving 30 seconds to a minute is a HUGE improvement in a matter of 6-9 weeks. But telling them because they didn't do it in 8 minutes and giving them a near failing grade is stupid. It's beyond stupid. And it tells them they are less than. I wish I knew this teacher because I would so give her a piece of my mind. And I'd also challenge her to a mile run and see how fast she does it!


  1. That is total BS! I agree with you 100%. What's stupid about this is that not everyone is even physically capable of running a 8 minute mile! Hell look at me! Look at my track record! (pun intended!) I am a runner, that's a fact. I would probably get a B in that class and I'm running a full marathon in 5 days. I don't think this way of measuring makes ANY damn sense!

  2. Bry you totally nailed it. And your fit as a fiddle and in great shape and after this weekend you are a marathoner. So according to this teacher your not an A student because your mile isn't an 8 even though you can do 26.2 miles. This teacher is obviously NOT a runner and has NO IDEA about the sport and therfor should NOT be teaching it!

  3. One of the (many) things that bothers me about this is that someone who feels pressured to reach a certain pace isn't going to grow to love this sport as we've been allowed to through training. Why doesn't this teacher actually teach, and let the students learn about training programs that will help them to become steady runners who enjoy it, regardless of pace.

  4. Running the mile in high school gym class made me HATE running. Vehemently. So much so that I refused to even try running through much of my adult life. Thankfully, I re-discovered running two years ago (at 33 years of age) and now I'm honestly in love with it. These kids don't have a chance. It's not only sad but it pisses me off to see kids being set up to fail. LIke any subject, it's all about how you teach it. This teacher is the real failure here.