Football ain’t education.

Dear Arne Duncan,

So the local high school football team has made it to the regional finals, and everyone in the neighborhood seems to be celebrating. They’re even streaming the game on a big screen at a local restaurant and offering drink specials. I mean, it’s great that their team is doing so well. I’m all about watching a great game. But here’s the problem.

The same school’s female soccer and golf teams both had stellar years, but didn’t hear much more than a peep about them. The swim team too has been rocking the record books. And their marching band continually places well in regional competitions. But does the principal invite the entire school to line up and send any of those groups off when they attend competitions? Nope. Is there a pep rally held before the math team heads off to meet their arch enemy? Nope. Is anyone or anything else lauded the way a group of boys who play a sport that involves more physical contact and head injuries than most? Absolutely not.

And talk about perks? Whether you admit it or not, you know football players on the high school and collegiate levels get free tutor assistance, early and excused dismissals, celebrity status at local restaurants and businesses, and there’s even talk about compensating amateur college athletes with salaries and sponsorships.

How is this fair? It’s not. So why do we stand for it? Because no one has ever dared to make a fuss about America’s pastime – football. Surprisingly, not even feminists have the balls to talk about this. Baseball used to be the American thing, but admit it, that hasn’t been the case in a decade or two. But fairness isn’t the real issue. It’s the deviation from education which is the real problem.

School was created to educate our children in an effort to prepare them for the workplace. It does a terrible job preparing children for life because the curriculum is a disastrous collection of century-old methods protected by powerful teacher and textbook lobbies. My children graduated high school with good grades without knowing how to write a check, address an envelope, create a resume, or perform CPR. But nowhere in the original plans to create local schoolhouses did anyone envision the most important part of schooling might be sports.

For schools to begin to change and succeed, we need to remove sports. Sure, there are lessons in collaboration, teamwork, and physical activity. But these are lessons better taught by parents, or community or private organizations, rather than establishments with a primary function of educating children. It’s time to pull sports out of schools. Let’s celebrate academics for a change if we want our children and country to be competitive globally. A few outstanding football players aren’t going to do dick for the good ol’ USA.

Yours,

Miso N. Grey, concerned parent.