Monday, December 5, 2016

Commentary: Oregon high schools have a well-to-do problem

Title:  Commentary: Oregon high school athletics has a well-to-do school problem

Source: Daschel, N. (2016, December 5).  Commentary: Oregon high school athletics has a well-to-do school problem.  The Oregonian/Oregon Live.  Retrieved:

Key Points:  Athletics continues to play a major role in education because it is important students become and remain involved in extracurricular activities.  While many believe in athletics that private schools have the advantage over public schools, Daschel argues that well-to-do schools are the ultimate issues.  He states, “The rich are winning almost everything.”  Daschel poses the question of whether OSAA can set up classifications for schools based on economics providing for a more even playing field in education and even opportunities for students and athletes across the board.

Intended Audience:  Educators, coaches, parents, individuals interested in athletics and education.

Relevance:  In my opinion and upbringing academics and extracurricular activities go hand in hand.  While this article focuses solely on the athletic side of schools I cannot help but think of the academic differences between well-to-do schools and schools with a majority of their students on free or reduced lunch.  In Salem-Keizer, it is obvious which schools have most students on free or reduced lunch as well as noticing which schools have a higher level of economic support.  It would be very interesting to see what schools would look like if all were receiving the same amount and had the same resources available to students for academic success.  


  1. I went to private catholic school for 12 years and I coached at the same school for 9 years. We did NOT have the best of anything and the school ran on a shoe string budget, yet we were and continue to be very competitive both academically and athletically with every school at or near our size. During my time coaching there I began to notice something I couldn't see when I was a student, the family support is incredible. Nearly every student has the goal of going to college and are supported and motivated by their families. This family support extends to athletics as well. Volunteers run and repair sports facilities, parents are at games supporting the teams, and the school organizes constant fundraisers to support the various expenses. This difference I see is the family and community contentedness. Granted it is a small community but I wonder if our giant public school systems are, by their nature, too big to establish that sort of community feeling?

  2. It seems to me having teams competitively well balanced would make for more exciting games, motivate student athletes to play, and lead to more kids having better overall school experiences. I read many of the comments attached to this article, and did not see any real solutions. So, I searched online for more research. I found this article… Alas, still no real solutions to create more balance. But, this article does have some ideas, such as “classifications based on enrollment, multipliers, recruiting restrictions, separate playoffs, tournament success factors, consideration of socioeconomic status, or some formula that includes one or more of these factors. These solutions have resulted in some success, but often bring about criticism from a variety of stakeholders.” I found this issue interesting because it involves so many variables that cannot be controlled, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to improve the situation.