Amanda Ripley "The Case Against High-School Sports"
Amanda Ripley’s “The Case Against High-School Sports” describes how students are being distracted by school sports. Ripley provides an example of a test of critical thinking in math, as proof of why the United States ranks 31st because students are more focused on sports than they are on education. Ripley questions the role of schools being involved with organized sports and the lack of emphasis on academics. Ripley explains the reason why South Korea, Shanghai, and Hong Kong are ranked the highest on the test is because these countries have a strong focus on academics. Schools that are failing in education have tried multiple ideas to get education back up on the top priorities, such as getting rid of all sports. Schools have multiple sports, and these sports are affecting student’s ability to learn.
Amanda Ripley’s “The Case Against High-School Sports” elucidates that schools are edging students to play sports and not focus on education, in some cases becoming bad enough that schools need to find ways to switch a student’s focus. The author explains that she is worried about the imbalance of schools’ emphasis on sports and academics, where they put sports first and academics later. Ripley cited two schools that were trying to make changes by eliminating sports (Premont High School in Texas and Spelman College in Georgia). Premont shut down all sports so their students would focus more on education, and Spelman College cut sports completely and instead put $1 million into a fitness program for the students. Premont’s plan was a success, with 80% of students passing their classes instead of the previous year’s 50% of students passing, proving that cutting sports is a good way of changing a student’s focus. Spelman College students lost weight because the fitness program benefited the full student body instead of just 80 athletes. More schools need to figure out how to make education the primary focus of schools, even if it requires a major change in school sports.