April 2023: School Administrator


Additional Articles


Editor's Note
Games With Serious Outcomes

When it comes to the incredibly wide jurisdiction over which the typical superintendent presides, does any area receive less critical attention than interscholastic athletics? Not in my mind, which is why at School Administrator we’ve periodically delved into the fun and games of athletic extracurriculars to examine some serious aspects.

Our purpose is not to question the added value school-based sports bring to secondary school students and their communities. But too often, superintendents’ attention is fixated on more immediate needs of schools’ management and operations, driven these days by loud voices from the outside. This leaves important questions relating to interscholastic athletics often unasked or less seriously addressed until a crisis might emerge.

Our focus this month touches on the provocative, asking whether a learning organization that pledges to keep students safe in body and mind ought to commit in the long term to supporting tackle football. Politically fraught as that discussion might be for those in school leadership, one answer about the game’s future is actually being made already by well-informed parents who’ve decided the growing body of research on repetitive head trauma carries too big a risk for their children. 

No less troubling is the issue of hate speech and racial biases tied to school athletics. Then there’s the notion that competitive balance on the playing field is a healthy objective for the management of interscholastic sports. Our attention looks at some efforts to bring greater fairness to competition. We also examine a few schools and leaders that take seriously the duty to ensure gender equity in athletics and the place of transgender athletes in scholastic sports.

I’m pleased that several superintendents — Cecilia Robinson-Woods, Chris Kennedy and Theron Schutte — are among the writers in this issue.

Jay P. Goldman
Editor, School Administrator
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