In recent years, high school sports has frequently
been a punching bag for reformers who see a distraction and critics
who see a cultural backwater. Some even blame school sports for sub-par
US performance on international tests. But the evidence suggests that school sports
do much to promote academic success, and social development. One influential study found that
high school student athletes got better grades, selected more challenging courses,
and had higher levels of educational attainment — across
socioeconomic status, gender, and race. Another major study linked sports participation
with increases in math and science achievement. Other studies have found that participating in sports
can make students more likely to graduate, improve race relations, and boost civic engagement. There are surely times and places when sports clash with a school’s academic mission. But, as we seek to nurture self-control,
responsibility, and good citizenship, remember that high school have established
programs with a track record of doing just that. Do you think high school sports are a good thing for American students? Let us know in our poll. Also, let us know what other topics you’d like
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