Friday, January 19, 2007

Is high school football a public good?

Blasphemy alert (not the religious kind--well, then again, maybe):

One of the big problems with public schools is there is such a conflicting set of ideas on what should happen at school. Many parents want their children to have a traditional academic education; they want their children to learn to read, write, and master arithmetic. Other parents are more concerned with socialization, or sports, or getting their children fed. A few parents are mostly interesting is having a place for their children to go during the day - free babsitting. Some parents want their children to be taught ethics, or a trade, or how to be a good citizen. With so many orthagonal views, it is no wonder that public schools struggle. Why homeschool
and then the author links to:
Is high school football a public good?
Of course when Nashville takes tax payer money for the benefit of professional teams it's hard to say it's not.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Once again, a good reason for our schools to be allowed diversity of mission and curriculum. Not everybody wants the same thing, but does every school have to offer the same programs? In the 1960s, James Conant wrote about "The Shopping Mall School" where every school had a broad array of options. At the time, this was innovation and probably an effort as a part of desegregation to make sure diverse populations (and I don't mean merely race) had different options, both curricular and extra-curricular.

And it is still wise for our public school system to have diverse options. IMHO, there aren't enough. But each school doesn't have to have each option if we allow more open enrollment.

I'm not a football fan, but that's me. Maybe all schools don't need football- as long as interested athletes have the ability to select a school that does.

Also, once again, school should be about preparing kids for the future, for their future. A wide variety of extra-curricular activities for students who are succeeding at their schoolwork is a part of education that serves to motivate kids to be a part of the school community. Sports, as well as academic activities like Speech and Debate, Journalism, Quiz Bowl, Youth in Government, Chess, etc, have many benefits, and truly are some of the least expensive programs Metro has going.

And third, as the news media tell us the awful state of obesity of kids in the state, I salute the athletes who are starting their lives with good habits to carry them into healthy adulthood.

Much of football pays for itself. Aside from the salary supplements, I'd be interested to know how much we spend on football.

Oh my, I've gone on and on again...