How do you raise the bar for a failing district? You lower the eligibility grade for athletic participation of course! Only Dayton Public Schools would do this, without any warning, without notifying the public, without public discussion, at an emergency meeting last night. Why? Because, the district is run by an incompetent school board who hired an untested, rookie superintendent, who hired an AD that flunked eligibility 101.
Dayton Public Schools’ existing policy required students to earn at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in order to play. The new policy will allow students between 1.0 and 1.99 to participate — if they enroll in their school’s Athletic Academic Intervention Program.
In order to remain eligible, those students must “remain enrolled for at least one calendar year, must attend all study tables, and must make satisfactory progress toward the established goal of a 2.0 GPA each academic quarter.
DPS attorney Jyllian Bradshaw explained that last item. It means if there is any quarter where a sub-2.0 GPA student-athlete sees their cumulative GPA decline, the student-athlete will immediately be academically ineligible for the next quarter. But a student with a 1.3 GPA who increases it to a 1.4 will be eligible for the following quarter.
Board member Joe Lacey, actually had the brains to vote against this- saying a C average isn’t that hard to maintain. Dr. Adil Baguirov abstained. The other four (Ron Lee was absent AGAIN)- thought this was a good idea. This is why they all need to be removed.
First of all, athletics, like academics, requires discipline. If you can’t be disciplined enough to get a C average, why is a D ok, with a study table?
And, why, are only athletes being given access to “Academic Intervention Programs”- shouldn’t ALL students who don’t have a “C” average have this right?
But, what we’re really doing is allowing for mediocrity- something this district is already well acknowledged as a leader in. That’s why we fail (that’s with an “F” grade- every educational standard by the state- except for the manufactured stat “annual yearly progress” which we got an “A”).
There isn’t a single athletic scholarship available for a student with lower than a C average. Why should we not set the bar at that level?
And, what does this do to the reputation of all the athletes that have come before? Will people think that Commissioner Joey Williams was able to play high school ball with a D average? Or Norris Cole? Give me a break. Give us all a break. If the board thinks D’s are acceptable at any level, they need to resign.
Need to see what happens when you coddle athletes based on physical skills over academic ones? Head over to Netflix and watch Season 1 and 2 of the documentary “Last Chance U” about the football program at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba Mississippi, population 732.
The story is of athletically gifted losers ending up at a junior college trying to redeem themselves to go back on track for D-1 or possibly the pros.
It’s a story of fantasy. Much like a focus on educational excellence at Dayton Public Schools.
Is this new lowering of academic standards a last chance attempt to boost enrollment that is dropping due to the threatened strike? Or, because new rules stop charter school kids from picking which athletic program they can attach themselves to? Why was this enacted in a hurry- without public knowledge, after the start of school? What’s the new enrollment figure?
You want the answer? Here’s the new district tagline to sell this brilliant move:
“Dayton Public Schools, where losers can still play.”
It applies to the administrators that thought this up, as well as to the student athletes who play because of this new lowered standard.
This will be a litmus test question for any candidate running to replace Lacey, Baguirov, Rountree and Lee.
It should be grounds for removal of Walker, McManus and Taylor.
If you aren’t up in arms about a failing district already, this should be a clear indication that academics aren’t a priority in Dayton.