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FLP: Why are American kids dumb and lagging behind.

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Tim View Post

    • The only way sports benefits college admissions is gaining a designated spot in a highly academically competitive institution. Additionally aid becomes available that would otherwise not occur without the athletic participation.
    • Huge downside is the time commitment and injury risk.
    • Academically, socially, and administratively, best case you will be viewed as a student athlete. More likely “a jock” meaning intellectually inferior.

    Not a value judgement, simply the reality.
    Yeah, I agree. That's why it's just about the stupidest reason in the vast majority of cases. But I hear it all the time.

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by fatlittlepig View Post

      There’s a difference between going swimming 2-3 times a week for a hour, and joining a swim team, going to daily practice, then traveling for swim meets and then having private lessons- It never ends. Regarding the basketball game, from what I remember from HS, scholar athletes were the exception to the rule and were few and far between, and the parents who were intense about sports, I highly doubt they were as intense about getting those math grades up.
      I can't speak to the basketball players at your high school, but I can relate my own experience. In my residency alone, there were two former college basketball players and at least a couple more who played in high school. That's from a pool of 20-25 guys, and just basketball - I assume others played other sports.

      If you have some data showing high school athletes are lower achievers academically, by all mean lets see it. But a quick google search suggests the exact opposite - several studies showing higher graduation rates and higher GPAs for high school athletes compared to non-athletes.

      Comment


      • Tim
        Tim commented
        Editing a comment
        “But a quick google search suggests the exact opposite - several studies showing higher graduation rates and higher GPAs for high school athletes compared to non-athletes.”
        No data, I suspect on the college applications the extracurricular activities section was there for a reason. One might want to compare band or chess club.

    • #78
      I know that the "carrot" for my young sophomore boy is his Ski team. He loves it. He knows that if his grades slip, if he is disrespectful, etc. then no more skiing. It is a wonderful motivator for him. He just turned 15 last week (so very young for his grade) but he is in honors English, Pre-Calc, Adv chemistry and will take AP European history, and Spanish 4 this year. He travels a lot between Dec and Mid-April which is hard but he keeps up and is motivated to do so. I wish his twin sister would be more into sports. She also does fine academically (same classes and great grades) but prefers watching Youtube, TikToks or Netflix. Ugh.

      Comment


      • #79
        Originally posted by SLC OB View Post
        watching Youtube, TikToks or Netflix. Ugh.
        It is funny but seriously how many times can you watch it.
        https://youtu.be/7ZWaWrvJ7nA

        Comment


        • #80
          Originally posted by dayman View Post

          I can't speak to the basketball players at your high school, but I can relate my own experience. In my residency alone, there were two former college basketball players and at least a couple more who played in high school. That's from a pool of 20-25 guys, and just basketball - I assume others played other sports.

          If you have some data showing high school athletes are lower achievers academically, by all mean lets see it. But a quick google search suggests the exact opposite - several studies showing higher graduation rates and higher GPAs for high school athletes compared to non-athletes.
          I believe it is called selection bias when you start with a group of highly intelligent people (yourself included) then extrapolate backwards (rather than start with a large group of college athletes...)

          I think this article far better makes my point than I could myself:
          https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily...ericas-schools

          From the first paragraphs (highlights added by FLP)
          In her new book, “The Smartest Kids in the World,” Amanda Ripley, an investigative journalist, tells the story of Tom, a high-school student from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, who decides to spend his senior year in Wroclaw, Poland. Poland is a surprising educational success story: in the course of less than a decade, the country raised students’ test scores from significantly below average for the developed world to significantly above it; Polish kids now outscore American kids in math and science, even though Poland spends, on average, less than half as much per student as the United States does. One of the most striking differences between the high school Tom attended in Gettysburg and the one he ends up at in Wroclaw is that the latter has no football team, or, for that matter, teams of any kind.

          Sports, Ripley writes, were “the core culture of Gettysburg High.” In Wroclaw, by contrast, if kids wanted to play soccer or basketball after school they had to organize the games themselves. Teachers didn’t double as coaches and the principal certainly never came out to cheer. Thus, “there was no confusion about what school was for—or what mattered to the kids’ life chances.”

          I thought about Tom the other day, while I was watching my fourteen-year-old twins play soccer. It was the day before school began, but they had already been going to J.V. soccer practice two hours a day for nearly two weeks. I wondered what would have happened if their math teacher had tried to call them in two weeks before school started to hold two-hour drill sessions. My sons would have been livid, as would every other kid in their class. Perhaps even more significant, I suspect that parents would have complained. What was the math teacher doing, trying to ruin the kids’ summer? And why should they have to make a special trip to the high school so their kids could study trig identities?

          This is not a matter of how any given student who play sports does in school, but of the culture and its priorities. This December, when the latest Programme for International Student Assessment, or pisa, results are announced, it’s safe to predict that American high-school students will once again display their limited skills in math and reading. They will once again be outscored not just by students in Poland but also by students in places like South Korea, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, and Japan. (In the last round of pisa tests, administered in 2009, U.S. students ranked thirty-first in math and seventeenth in reading , among seventy-four countries.) Meanwhile, they will have played some very exciting football games, which will have been breathlessly written up in their hometown papers. (Ripley notes that at each Gettysburg High football game “no less than four local reporters showed up.”)

          Comment


          • #81
            “What was the math teacher doing, trying to ruin the kids’ summer?”
            Your kids are lucky. Summer college programs are brutal sweatshops. No rest for the driven.
            Sign your kids up! No pain, no gain.
            Send this link to the school board and start a booster club. No pass for the math club, no play!
            https://artofproblemsolving.com/wiki...s_competitions

            Comment


            • #82
              Originally posted by dayman View Post

              I can't speak to the basketball players at your high school, but I can relate my own experience. In my residency alone, there were two former college basketball players and at least a couple more who played in high school. That's from a pool of 20-25 guys, and just basketball - I assume others played other sports.

              If you have some data showing high school athletes are lower achievers academically, by all mean lets see it. But a quick google search suggests the exact opposite - several studies showing higher graduation rates and higher GPAs for high school athletes compared to non-athletes.
              The standard for medical school admissions in the US is fairly low, so I wouldn't use that as any kind of barometer.

              Here's some data, such as it is, on athletes and admissions:

              https://www.insidehighered.com/views...lleges-opinion

              https://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...331-story.html

              https://www.huffpost.com/entry/a-lit...etics_b_787461

              No wonder FMGs have better patient outcomes etc. They come from countries where all that matters is academics.

              Comment


              • #83
                Originally posted by dayman View Post

                A lot of shade thrown at athletics in this thread, from you and others. It's fine if you and/or your kids aren't athletes, but there are plenty of people who are able to do both. Personally, I learned more valuable life lessons from my experience as a mediocre high school basketball player than I did breezing through high school classes.

                A childhood with lots of math, no athletics is better than the inverse. A childhood with some of each would be even better.
                And that speaks to the complete deemphasis of academics at our sports academies that masquerade as educational facilities.

                Comment


                • #84
                  Originally posted by SLC OB View Post
                  I wish his twin sister would be more into sports. She also does fine academically (same classes and great grades) but prefers watching Youtube, TikToks or Netflix. Ugh.
                  Exactly like my daughter who prefers watching stupid Youtube videos, Netflix and playing Spotify even while doing her homework. Her only physical activity is running inside the house. She used to be a good clarinet player but has given it up because the school won't allow it unless you are also in a marching band. Which requires 2 weeks of practice in brutal 12 hour mid summer 90F+ heat of the south east before the school reopened but also the need to attend every Friday night football game Aug-Dec, both home and away.

                  Comment


                  • Lordosis
                    Lordosis commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I quit high school band my senior year partially because I did not like being in marching band. I got flack for missing the football games (I was playing) Duh! and I refused to miss my real classes to go to band lessons. I am sorry but I am not going to skip biology to get extra band practice. The band directed said I would get an F so I withdrew. Admin tried to get me to make waves because they had similar issues with this director before but I did not and went on with life.

                  • tylerjw12
                    tylerjw12 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I played clarinet all through college and even after in community band. The time commitment in high school was considerable. Requirements to do marching band are common, though mine would offer very few exemptions.
                    Through marching/concert band, I marched in the Rose Bowl parade, played at Carnegie Hall, performed shows in China, forced to work with various types of people from various backgrounds towards a common goal, met lifelong friends (and The Wife), learned to deal with both successes and failures, attended a handful of major College Football Bowl Games... on and on. These weren't explicitly academic pursuits, but they made me a more well-rounded person. It was always a hobby and not a job, though at times it precluded me from getting PT work in school. Yes, they asked a lot of us, but we also got a lot out of our participation.

                    Point is, I imagine my input/output is not unlike that of an athlete playing a sport. They are not strictly academic, but nonetheless contribute to the personal growth and education of its participants. Just like everything else in life (including academics!), some parents/schools/coaches put too much emphasis on sport. I overheard a parent berating another player on my kid's soccer team. They are 4 yr olds!

                • #85
                  Originally posted by snowcanyon View Post

                  The standard for medical school admissions in the US is fairly low, so I wouldn't use that as any kind of barometer.

                  Here's some data, such as it is, on athletes and admissions:

                  https://www.insidehighered.com/views...lleges-opinion

                  https://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...331-story.html

                  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/a-lit...etics_b_787461

                  No wonder FMGs have better patient outcomes etc. They come from countries where all that matters is academics.
                  I love it. You take a shot at the intelligence of myself and former colleagues, then completely miss the boat on what I said. Your links argue that the academic bar for athletes to gain admission to elite colleges is lower than that of non-athletes. I think that's pretty obvious, is someone arguing against that?

                  I'll repeat. If you have some data showing high school athletes are lower academic achievers than non-athletes, let's see it.

                  Here's a start. Study of 130,000+ kids in Kansas. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jsas/67...;view=fulltext

                  The academic performance of students in grades 9-12 who did or did not participate in high school sports in Kansas during the 2008-2009 school year was analyzed. In addition to overall comparisons between athletes and non-athletes on GPAs, graduation rates, number of dropouts, ACT test scores, and state assessments, some gender, ethnicity, and grade comparisons were made. High school athletes earned higher grades, graduated at a higher rate, dropped out of school less frequently, and scored higher on state assessments than did non-athletes; results on the ACT were mixed.

                  Comment


                  • #86
                    No need for any studies, go to any high school in America, the football, basketball, and baseball teams are not where you go to find students focused on academic excellence.

                    Comment


                    • dayman
                      dayman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      If you aren't interested in hearing any evidence against your position, or supplying any evidence to support it, it's probably time for me to leave this discussion.

                    • tylerjw12
                      tylerjw12 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      you'll also find kids who aren't playing sports not focused on academic excellence.

                  • #87
                    Playing sports does not make you dumb. Some of those who are most driven academically are also on the school teams - the athletics and comradery nurture team building skills and character. It's preposterous and insulting to those with athletic skills and career choices.

                    Comment


                    • #88
                      Originally posted by EntrepreneurMD View Post
                      Playing sports does not make you dumb. Some of those who are most driven academically are also on the school teams - the athletics and comradery nurture team building skills and character. It's preposterous and insulting to those with athletic skills and career choices.
                      Not surprisingly, you are missing the point. Fatlittlepig never said there was no redeeming value in participation in sports, however it is plain to see that sports have perverted the educational system (there are so many examples of this at the HS and collegiate level that it's almost comical).

                      The original post I wrote was not focused on organized sports but rather on the lack of priority placed on education in American culture. The focus on sports in this country is a reflection of that.

                      Comment


                      • #89
                        Originally posted by dayman View Post

                        I love it. You take a shot at the intelligence of myself and former colleagues, then completely miss the boat on what I said. Your links argue that the academic bar for athletes to gain admission to elite colleges is lower than that of non-athletes. I think that's pretty obvious, is someone arguing against that?

                        I'll repeat. If you have some data showing high school athletes are lower academic achievers than non-athletes, let's see it.

                        Here's a start. Study of 130,000+ kids in Kansas. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jsas/67...;view=fulltext

                        The academic performance of students in grades 9-12 who did or did not participate in high school sports in Kansas during the 2008-2009 school year was analyzed. In addition to overall comparisons between athletes and non-athletes on GPAs, graduation rates, number of dropouts, ACT test scores, and state assessments, some gender, ethnicity, and grade comparisons were made. High school athletes earned higher grades, graduated at a higher rate, dropped out of school less frequently, and scored higher on state assessments than did non-athletes; results on the ACT were mixed.
                        From your article:
                        "How much influence participation in high school sports has on the academic achievements of participants versus how much is attributable to other factors is unknown. Additional research is needed to answer this important question. Future researchers are encouraged to control for factors such as academic ability, family background, and socio-economic status that may influence higher-performing students to self-select into sports. Controlling these types of variables would help confirm or refute a causal relationship between participation in high school sports and higher academic achievement."

                        I would argue that low-SES students are much less able to participate in athletics for obvious reasons and would strongly confound this sort of study

                        Comment


                        • #90
                          Originally posted by childay View Post

                          From your article:
                          "How much influence participation in high school sports has on the academic achievements of participants versus how much is attributable to other factors is unknown. Additional research is needed to answer this important question. Future researchers are encouraged to control for factors such as academic ability, family background, and socio-economic status that may influence higher-performing students to self-select into sports. Controlling these types of variables would help confirm or refute a causal relationship between participation in high school sports and higher academic achievement."

                          I would argue that low-SES students are much less able to participate in athletics for obvious reasons and would strongly confound this sort of study
                          That's a fair point, but I'm not sure it's an obvious conclusion. I'd guess it depends on the sport. The study did break the results down by the factors they had access to - namely, sex and race. From a summary article: https://news.ku.edu/2014/01/15/study...ation-more-non

                          The study compared academic performance of athletes and non-athletes between boys and girls and between white and minority students. In each measure athletes had higher academic performance than nonathletes.

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