Thursday, January 18, 2007

Is High School Football a Public Good? by Jim Fedako

A couple weeks ago Jim Fedako posted on the Ludwig von Mises Institute an article Is High School Football a Public Good? He argues that public schools should not be involved with sports.

One of the big problems with public schools is there is such a conflicting set of ideas on what should happen at school. Many parents want their children to have a traditional academic education; they want their children to learn to read, write, and master arithmetic. Other parents are more concerned with socialization, or sports, or getting their children fed. A few parents are mostly interesting is having a place for their children to go during the day - free babsitting. Some parents want their children to be taught ethics, or a trade, or how to be a good citizen. With so many orthagonal views, it is no wonder that public schools struggle.

Jim Fedako opens his column with:

"Most of us would never think of asking our neighbors to foot a personal bill. We accept responsibility for car and roof repairs as ours alone. In addition, we don't bang on the door across the street in order to demand a contribution towards our children's figure skating lessons, taekwondo classes, etc. That which is consumed or used by our families is to be paid from our pockets — the definition of personal responsibility.

"Now let's change the situation slightly. Instead of a figure skating lesson — the realm of the private good, consider the local public high school football team — the realm of the supposed public good."

He provides a very thought provoking explanation of how public schools should not have sports programs.


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3 comments:

Dizzy Dezzi said...

Good post. I knew there was something about the school sports angle that stuck in the back of my head, I just couldn't articulate it. This article definitely helps.

Henry Cate said...

Thanks for the kind words.

It is kind of funny when you stop and think about it. What is the different between public school supported football and horseback riding?

I think it is mostly because football is tradition that people accept it, but would squawk over some parents asking a school to have a horseback riding class.

Now having said that I'm sure there is a public school some where in the United States that has a horseback riding team.

Jim Fedako said...

By the way, my wife and I home school our four, soon to be five, children. OK, my wife actually does the work for which I appreciate her dearly.

Jim Fedako
antipositivist.blogspot.com