Most recently the call-in shows have centered the newest hot topic here in town: the elimination of fourth-block athletic practice.
Let's start with what little background I have, having only been here for a year. First, it seems that our public school system has a little issue with No Child Left Behind. Despite the fact that I think NCLB is a big bunch of baloney, it is important to the issue at hand to know that the local schools are performing below NCLB standards. Second, from what I can tell, sometime in the recent past the school board voted to cut the number of high school class periods each day from six to four. Again, I'm not sure if that means that students really only take four classes each semester (which seems a little on the low side) or if they somehow rotate class periods so that they can actually take more than four classes. Third, up until recently varsity sports teams were allowed to use the fourth block of the school day for athletic practice. That's 25% of the school day.
So it seems that in the last week or so the school board voted to eliminate "fourth-block athletic practice." And (GASP) they voted without getting the input of the community! The horror!
Here's what they might have heard had they decided to let the members of the community speak out. I know because these are the comments I've heard on the radio and read in the newspaper:
- Now student-athletes might have to choose between athletics and their after-school jobs! (Oh no! A high school student having to make a difficult choice? Then they might have to grow up!)
- The role of the coach is necessary for young men who don't have a father figure at home. If you take that away, these boys are going to be left without role models (When did it become the job of the public school to provide parents for students? And since when are classroom teachers insufficient role models?)
- We have to have practice to keep these boys lean! We don't want our boys to be no fatties! (Yes, I'm as concerned about obesity as the next person, but if it's really that important, make physical education mandatory! And yes "We don't want our boys to be no fatties" is, in fact, a direct quote.)
- If the students have to stay after school to practice, how are they going to get home? (It's called a carpool, people. Remember? My mom will drop off if yours will pick up?)
- If you eliminate fourth-block athletic practice then the student-athletes have to find another elective to take! (What a horrible idea! Wait--what if they took an academic class in that block? Oh, never mind, that's just silly.)
- If our athletes can't practice during the school day (note: they get a PE credit for practice) then we should eliminate band and chorus as electives as well.
And on an unrelated note: Our local AA baseball team is having an afternoon game. Kids who bring a church bulletin with them get in free. On how many levels is that just wrong?