I had the opportunity to attend my friend’s son 4th grade “graduation”. It was a nice program that gave parents and the school an opportunity to congratulate kids for a job well done as they transition into middle school in the fall (now that is still weird to me because I didn’t start junior high until 7th grade – but I digress). I became perplexed as I stood listening every child’s name being called. When a student did outstanding in athletics thunderous applause was heard. When a student did outstanding in academics, applause was heard but not as thunderous.
Now I love sports just like a next person but why are we continuing to send this dangerous message that sports are more important than academics. We have our kids thinking a sport contract is in their future. Those moments are a dime a dozen. It is so important that our children know the importance of reading, problem solving, and have the ability to solve simple math problem without using their cell phones. It is so disheartening to see teenagers who can’t count back change to you because they don’t know how.
When will the time come that we push for academics again in this country. When will parents demand the best for their children. When will our nation understand the importance of placing a our dollars into our education system. We need to give teachers adequate pay. We need to create environments where students can truly enjoy learning. When will we tip the scale in the favor of academics so we can prepare our children to keep our legacy.