Boys and Sports: The Dark Side
My commentary in Education Week about the problems some sports programs raise.
Emphasizing Sports Over Academics Sets Up Black Boys to Lose
By Richard Whitmire
A little-noticed controversy played out in the District of Columbia schools recently that highlights a rarely discussed reason African-American boys lag so far behind in academics: sports.
That sounds wrongheaded, doesn't it? After all, conventional wisdom holds that sports are supposed to keep at-risk boys interested in school and out of trouble. But in fact, sports can have just the opposite effect.
The controversy involved Ballou High School Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader , academically one of the worst high schools in one of the country's worst urban school districts. The Ballou Knights, it turns out, used an ineligible player to win a football game that qualified the team for a coveted spot in the annual Turkey Bowl championship game--a Thanksgiving Day tradition...