Social Interactions, Groups, and Institutions in the Article: The Case Against High-School Sports

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640 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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The article describes the lag in international education rankings in America due to spending more time and money on high-school sports. The sports in public schools are prioritized instead of education as in the case of Shawnee High where they field 18 sports within the course of the school year. The social interaction described in the article is competition. Sports competition in soccer, golf tennis, and other sports activities takes center stage in schools despite being costly. The government spends about $ 150,000 per year in funding sports making it expensive (Ripley, 2017). In general, the sports not only hurt the economy but also the players themselves.

The groups and institutions described in the article include the American schools, AFS (exchange organization), sports teams, government and organizations such as Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. These institutions and groups play different roles in addressing the impacts of the culture of over-funding sports activities. The debate arose concerning Americas international mediocrity in education as it is ranked 31st in math test (Ripley, 2017). They have joined hands in addressing causes of this menace which is mostly due to undertrained teachers and caring too much about sports than as done in other countries like Korea. A superintendent in Texas threatened to shut down a school due to academic failure and mismanagement of funds resulting in the suspension of all sports.

Critical Analysis of the Article

The article indicates a society that value sporting activities more than education for their children. The element of American education is surprising because emphasizing the physical state of the students rather than their mental state. According to the journal of advanced academics, the American kids in eighth grade spend time in playing sports twice that of Korean kids. This can be beneficial in providing exercise and maintaining school spirits but results to slashing of education budgets to fund sports outside the schools. This issue makes one ask about the aim of education centers because athletics fields have become cultural centers while educators and parents have become coaches and boosters respectively.

The article described behavior changes concerning the issue as people have started efforts to change the education system. Singleton, the principal of Premont high school, started eliminating sports to save money and makes students refocus on academics. This behavior of the principal shows little efforts can turn around the situation and schools can emphasize on aligning their curriculum to new and rigorous education standards. However, the changes experienced negative impacts as dozens of students transferred to other schools that value football, volleyball, and other sports. These behaviors show that implementing changes in the education system can be a tall order; all stakeholders need to be engaged to provide a solution for changing this lifestyle.

Other Fundamental Issues Described In the Article

The article has shown that sports have taken a substantial position in the education system and no one can realize its actual cost. Costs are driven up because sports tend to have a lower student-to-teacher ratio as compared to math and reading classes. Despite efforts in reducing the budget of sports programs, schools in Florida and Illinois have rather shifted more of the cost to parents thus subjecting them to poverty.

Moreover, an argument has been common that sports lure students to schools thus being beneficial. But in the modern world where many countries are producing high rates of high school graduates, the sports should be scaled down to allow space for academic activities. Sports have huge benefits as it is good for living and learning, but it benefits few students at the expense of the majority of students (Sitkowski, 2008).


Ripley, A. (2017). The Case against High-School Sports. The Atlantic. Retrieved 3 September 2017, from, L. S. (2008). The effects of participation in athletics on academic performance among high school sophomores and juniors. Liberty University.


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