This is a good example of why you should read and engage with another person’s point of view even if you are going into it knowing that you disagree. I read the headlines and thought the idea was ludicrous – after all, every study coming out of developmental neurology and psychology indicates that exercise is fundamental to a child’s learning process. Young males, without a physical outlet during the school day, are restless and act up and therefore are more apt to be diagnosed with ADHD or ADD. Children who exercise do better on tests than those who don’t. Exercise at an early age is key for good bone development in females. So why in the world would you cut high school sports programs?
But if the stats in this article can be believed, high school sports are unbelievably expensive relative to academics. It seems shameful, in retrospect, that academic programs are being cut in favor of sports programs in high school (equally shameful in college, but that’s another story). High school sports programs aren’t required to promote healthy physical activity for the student body; it is almost the opposite since such a relatively small percentage of the student body participate. The cost savings for eliminating just the most egregious sports – football and cheerleading, judging from this article – could be a lifesaver in struggling school districts. But these sports seem to be the sacred cow to most Americans, who would be appalled to find out that little Bobby won’t be playing football this year. And I believe this idea is part of America’s overall dismissive attitude towards science and academics (perhaps if people went to more science classes and less football one-third of us wouldn’t believe that the Bible is literally true) which in turn explains a lot about our academic performance relative to our peer countries.