Friday, March 03, 2006

Only if you're smart.

Only the smart kids were allowed to attend a local high school's state basketball game? I addressed the issue of athletics and acadmics a few posts ago, and am still bothered by this perceived divide.
Here are my questions about the Renton High School policy:
1. Did all of the athletes who missed school have a B+ average?
2. Did the administration consider the law of averages? That most kids, unless grade inflation has changed this, will not be at a B+ avearge?
3. Did the administration consider the negative effect on the team, who would now be at a potential fan disadvantage at the game?
4. Did the administration, despite the last question, really believe that students would not simply have a parent excuse their absence in order to attend the game?

There is a time and place for pushing the strong academic success of our students. But there is also a time when building school pride has to happen. High school athletics has the ability to bring a school community together and rally around themselves. It is their team, not the principal's.
What the administration neglected was the understanding that most kids don't enjoy school, and as a result will look for anything to further their belief that adults, specifically teachers and administrators, are out to make their life hell. When shortsighted administrators choose their agenda over the good of the school community, students loose.

2 Comments:

At 4:21 PM , Blogger robtherunner said...

Great point about the potential for athletic events to bring a school together and form cohesion within the school that may not otherwise form. But like you said, if the administration acts in this manner then the result will probably be more tension between students and administration.

 
At 1:06 PM , Anonymous Matt said...

I don't know anything about Renton High School, other then that it had a 24-0 basketball team. However, I see too many people who automatically assume the administrators must be complete morons. While I've seen a lot of idiots, I hate to just assume that they are.

What % of the school had a B+ average? If grade inflation is rampant, they may not be excluding very many.

What % of the school would have attended the game anyway? My high school had the #1 girls team in the state and let school out at noon on the day of the state tournament so kids would have time to travel to Topeka to watch the game. Fifteen of a 1,200+ students made the hour-long trip to watch. If we had said that we would not let school out, I bet 50 parents would have complained and wrote their children excuses. They want what they can't have, so maybe this policy made the good students appreciate it and the poor students had some nice food for thought.

If nothing else, I'm glad Renton High did it just so I can bring it up in my journalism class and watch my students' eyes widen at the scary prospect that maybe my school will do this next.

 

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