Should Some NCAA Athletes Even Be in College?

Many football and basketball players read at an eighth-grade level, a CNN investigation reveals.

National Journal
Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
Jan. 13, 2014, midnight

Here’s a roundup of the edu­ca­tion art­icles that caught Next Amer­ica’s eye from Jan. 6 to 13. All ad­dress trends that par­tic­u­larly af­fect minor­ity stu­dents.

SOME RE­CRUITED ATH­LETES CAN’T READ. A CNN in­vest­ig­a­tion finds that many col­lege bas­ket­ball and foot­ball play­ers read at be­low a high school level — mean­ing that in­sti­tu­tions are get­ting rev­en­ue from stu­dents who aren’t pre­pared to suc­ceed in class. Stu­dent ad­visers are un­der tre­mend­ous pres­sure to make sure ath­letes don’t flunk out of school, and there’s little time for tu­tor­ing on an NCAA sched­ule. CNN

A SHIFT AWAY FROM ZERO TOL­ER­ANCE. Civil-rights ad­voc­ates are cheer­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­com­mend­a­tion that pub­lic schools use law en­force­ment only as a last re­sort for dis­cip­lin­ing stu­dents. The Los Angeles Uni­fied School Dis­trict is one of many dis­tricts na­tion­wide step­ping away from zero-tol­er­ance policies, re­cog­niz­ing that such policies raise dro­pout rates and dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fect minor­it­ies and stu­dents with dis­ab­il­it­ies. The New York Times and NPR

COR­RUP­TION IN CHICA­GO CHARTER SCHOOLS? UNO Charter Schools, the na­tion’s biggest His­pan­ic charter-school op­er­at­or is in trouble — suf­fer­ing from rev­el­a­tions of in­sider con­tracts, nepot­ist­ic hires, and cronyism, plus a fed­er­al in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to a bond deal that helped the net­work ex­pand. Chica­go magazine looks in­to the rise and fall of former UNO lead­er Juan Ran­gel and the lack of city and state over­sight that made it pos­sible for the charter net­work to col­lect so much money without us­ing it all to be­ne­fit stu­dents. Chica­go 

MEM­PH­IS’S IN­CREAS­INGLY FRAG­MEN­TED DIS­TRICT. Add tur­moil in dis­trict man­age­ment to Mem­ph­is’s woes. The un­der­per­form­ing, high-poverty city dis­trict, which mostly serves Afric­an-Amer­ic­an stu­dents, has been broken in two: In 2010, the state cre­ated the Achieve­ment School Dis­trict, which will turn low-per­form­ing schools over to charter op­er­at­ors, while last sum­mer the rest of the dis­trict merged with the more af­flu­ent Shelby County sys­tem. Already, some Shelby County towns are threat­en­ing to leave the com­bined dis­trict. The county com­mis­sion and city coun­cil are su­ing, al­leging that the move is an at­tempt to re­seg­reg­ate county schools. Edu­ca­tion Week

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CLASS OF 2004? fed­er­al study track­ing 2002’s high school sopho­mores found that 10 years later, a third of the stu­dents had earned a bach­el­or’s de­gree or high­er, and 19 per­cent had some oth­er un­der­gradu­ate-level cre­den­tial. His­pan­ic and Afric­an-Amer­ic­an stu­dents were more likely to stop at a high school de­gree, and were also more likely to have at­ten­ded some col­lege but not com­pleted a de­gree. In­side High­er Ed

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