Today, as most students are back in the swing of things at school, we decided to talk about high school sports. And as any football or soccer or hockey mom or dad knows all too well, athletics can be an enormous commitment for children and their families – hours spent at practice and games, money for equipment and a lot of gas tanks. For many students, sports are as big a part of the American school experience as math or history class.
But writer Amanda Ripley says it might be time to rethink that. Amanda Ripley’s been looking at the question of student achievement around the world, and as part of that inquiry, she looked at the role of high school sports. In a recent story for The Atlantic titled “The Case Against High-School Sports,” Ripley writes that Americans routinely spend more tax dollars per high school athlete than per high school math student, and far more on high school sports than most developed countries. And so she suggests it’s not a coincidence that many of those countries are flying past the U.S. in education rankings as a result. And Amanda Ripley is with us now. She’s author of the book “The Smartest Kids in the World,” and a mom of one son.