The Sunday editorial, “Common-sense call for leveling the field” lacks both logical and factual support.
Bob Lombardi from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association implied that charter schools select students specifically on athletic talent. In fact, it’s illegal for charters to do so, but the editors chose to raise his implication to the level of fact, using the words “cherry- picking” and “recruiting” as truth.
The editorial proposes that “When it comes to high school athletic competition … separate but equal would be fine.” The 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision stated that “separate but equal is inherently unequal.” This is no less true in athletics as it is in racial segregation.
The editorial takes a shot at charter school parents for funding athletics through booster clubs, although parents in traditional schools do the same. Unlike traditional schools, Lincoln Park spends no taxpayer dollars on the athletic program and pays traditional schools for their students who play sports – points made in the testimony, but ignored by the editorial.
Finally, the editorial takes a sarcastic slap at the athletes with, “Can’t wait to see all those basketball blue-chippers in the spring musical,” assuming that children can’t be proficient in more than one area of life.
Part of our responsibility as educators is to create opportunities for children to participate in, and learn from, sports as part of their education and growth. If there are issues, they should be addressed, but the editorial added no value to any rational discussion on the subject.
King of Prussia
Fayfich is the executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools.