In the article, "The Case Against High School Sports", by Amanda Ripley, I agreed with her in some aspects, but also disagreed with some of her feelings about this topic. Although sports can make school feel like less of a task for some students, its also very important to focus more on education and learning.
Sports play a very important role in school and in the some of the students lives. According to Ripley, some of the benefits include, "... exercise, lessons in sportsmanship and perseverance, school spirit, and just plain fun." These definitely are some contributing factors as to why sports are important. The article states, "In these communities, the dominant argument is usually that sports lure students into school and keep them out of more trouble." This is agreeable for me because for some students sports makes school more enjoyable. It is a good distraction from other trouble that they may encounter while outside of school. Another good point that I found while reading this article was, "Another study, conducted by Columbia's Margo Gardner, found that teenagers who participated in extracurriculars had higher college-graduation and voting rates, even after controlling for ethnicity, parental education, and other factors." These extracurricular activities include sports which is a very good reason to include sports in schools.
On the other hand, sports may have too much of an important role in schools. Sociologist James Coleman stated, "...Altogether, the trophy case would suggest to the innocent visitor that he was entering an athletic club, not an educational institution." I think this is true and when there are trophies as soon as you walk into the school, it shows how sports are more important to celebrate than education. The author also wrote about the town Premont by saying, "Football at Premont cost about $1,300 a player. Math by contrast, cost just $618 a student. For the price of one football season, the district could have hired a full-time elementary-school music teacher for an entire year." By saying this, I can't help but think about the fact that the schools are spending too much money on sports, which is an extracurricular, than the actual extent of education. Finally, I found this quote very interesting, " Athletics even dictate the time that school starts each day: despite research showing that later start times improve student performance, many high schools begin before 8 am., partly to reserve afternoon daylight hours for sports practice." If schools started later, students would be more well rested and perform better academically.
Ripley, Amanda. "The Case Against High-School Sports." The Atlantic Oct. 2013: 72-78. Print