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Pushing Kids in Sports vs. Pushing Kids in School

Education Next – Robert Pondiscio

“Hand wringing over Americans’ obsession with sports at the expense of academics is a hardy perennial in education writing, social commentary, and even sketch comedy. Many parents “don’t push their children very hard when it comes to academics” Perry explains, because they “don’t necessarily believe in the connection between effort and academic achievement, and don’t believe that academic success is within reach of any student willing to work hard for it.” Not quite right. For starters, I don’t buy entirely the comparison; I’d wager that most parents still make participation in organized sports conditional based on their child’s keeping his or her grades up. It’s also easier for most parents to engage with their child’s athletics than academics. By the time my daughter was in middle school, my days of helping with her math homework were over. But I can still lace ‘em up and go for a run with her.”(more)

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