Athletics vs. Academics
It is a perennial argument. Which is more important? It is a false choice. I would argue both.
Research has shown that schools with strong athletic teams have high test scores. I believe that both academics and athletics can and should support each other. This is supported by the number of top ranked boarding schools which require students to participate in sports each season. Additionally, if athletics was truly harming a school's academics we would expect to see that reflected in test scores.
Two students at the University of Arkansas, Daniel H. Bowen and Jay P. Greene, found the opposite. Their study observed student athletic participation compared to graduation rates and standardized test scores over five years in all public schools in the state of Ohio. They controlled for poverty, demographics, and school financial resources and still found a strong positive correlation between a school's commitment to athletics and a lower dropout rate and higher test scores.
As a former high school and college athlete, I have realized the benefits of an active body and an active mind. I believe in the power of a scholar athlete. Two of my AP English students scored in our Soccer game tonight. Go Jaguars!
Bowen, D. (2011). Does Athletic Success Come at the Expense of Academic Success? Eastern Educational Research Association Journal of Research in Education, 22(2). Retrieved April 9, 2015, from http://www.eeraonline.org/journal/files/v22/JRE_v22n2_Article_1_Bowen.pdf