PE credits for cash

Portland, Oregon schools let students skip required phys ed classes, if they earn credits from a private company called Quest Schools.

To sign up, students pay $150 for the year and agree to spend 130 hours engaging in physical activities. Quest says it keeps a close eye on students by requiring them to log their time and seek signatures on their logs from parents and coaches. But some teachers and students say that’s a farce. “It’s a major scam,” says Mark Paul, a 29-year veteran P.E. teacher at Lincoln High School. “They’re buying their credits.”

The schools don’t have to hire as many phys ed teachers, which saves money.

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Comments

  1. Doug Sundseth says:

    Since no child in the history of the world has ever gotten anything of value out of a high school PE class*, I don’t see the problem. These classes are a waste of students’ time and the district’s money. They are useful only for providing a sinecure for the coaches of schools’ sports teams.

    I’ll cheerfully certify the students’ “progress” for half the price. Oh, heck, just make me an offer.

    * Perhaps a slight exaggeration.

  2. LOL Doug. Our public elementary school finally hired a great phys ed teacher a few years ago (too late for oldest daughter, but the others were able to enjoy his class.)

    But I do agree that a high percentage are nearly as you describe.
    🙂

  3. If the students take another course instead of PE, they benefit a lot, but the school would not save money since academic classes have fewer students per teacher than PE.

  4. Hey, I think phys ed classes have their benefits. Especially in a society where more and more children are leading sedentary after-school lifestyles. My classes were pretty helpful in keeping me in shape. Of course, in sophomore year of high school, I didn’t care about that. Just didn’t want to do a 2 mile run every week. So I dropped it.

  5. I agree; required school PE classes are a waste for most of the kids. Some athletes takes weight training, some kids actually do take and benefit from fitness-based classes, but most of the PE classes of which I am aware are useless and the kids who need exercise the most take those.

    Also, it makes no sense for kids who are full-time athletes (either by playing a school sport every season or by playing a full-time club sport) to waste on unneeded PE.

    Another point is the inefficiency of school PE. Above 6th grade, half the class period is wasted on changing into and out of gym clothes and showering. If showers are not used (and in my experience, they are not), then almost no one will do anything to make themselves sweat and for very good reason.

    As you say, waste of time and money – a jobs program for PE teachers.

  6. But Me: I got better exercise running around with my friends after school, than I did in PE classes. As I remember a lot of PE was standing around and waiting to use the limited amount of equipment. Or standing around and waiting for teams to be chosen, which could be agonizingly slow. Or changing and showering – or pretending to – as momof4 mentioned.

    If schools want to “outsource” PE, I have no problem with it, ESPECIALLY if the kids are (a) having more fun and (b) getting more exercise than they would in a traditional PE class. (And maybe they could do away with those ugly shorts and t-shirts?)

    I remember my 7th grade PE class. It was first hour of the day. First hour! They used to make us go out and run on the track, in November, in Ohio, in our gym suits (the PE teacher wore sweats, himself). I didn’t know at the time I had cold-induced asthma so I got screamed at for being a “flopper” who couldn’t run fast enough.

    I would have much preferred a gym-type activity at the END of the day, where I could go home and shower in a shower unlikely to give me Plantar’s warts (another sad little legacy of 7th grade gym) instead.

  7. Be careful when bashing P.E. classes. Yes, there are/were things we don’t like about them (just like English, history, math, etc.), but they serve an important function.

    There are numerous studies showing the benefits of P.E. classes. And, I’m not just talking about the obvious body benefits. Exercise benifits the mind/brain and aids in learning and memory functions.

    So, a program that cuts into the actual physical activity of a child/teen will have some negative consequences.

  8. “But Me: I got better exercise running around with my friends after school, than I did in PE classes. As I remember a lot of PE was standing around and waiting to use the limited amount of equipment. Or standing around and waiting for teams to be chosen, which could be agonizingly slow. Or changing and showering – or pretending to – as momof4 mentioned. ”

    I guess it depends on each school’s program. My school’s PE classes were actually beneficial. We did a lot of…well, physical things, and I don’t remember a lot of waiting for equipment, or time spent wasted in the locker rooms. Although, like I said, I never really appreciated the 2-mile runs until after high school was over and done with. I’m sure if you asked some of my classmates, they probably would have said it was a waste of time because they hated PE. But they were the ones who needed it most because they never got off their butts otherwise.

    Also…don’t know about you, but I didn’t do the whole “running around like wild monkeys” after I got past elementary school. 😛 In middle school and high school, it was really the only daily form of exercise I got.