Neither Success nor Failure!
With it being a little twenty years after Diana's original report, there has been large progress in the advancement of student athletes obtaining degrees. With about 66.9% of students athletes obtaining degrees overall compared to the 72.8% of undergraduate students overall. While these improvements are enormous steps forward, there is still cause for concern and need to continue pushing forward. Between 2007 and 2010, black men were 2.8% of full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students, but 57.1% of football teams and 64.3% of basketball teams, and only some 50% graduate within six years. And on top of that, 96% of NCAA Division I colleges graduate black male student-athletes at rates lower overall. Though a degree does not define someone's success, we should certainly help the young men and women that are seeking to obtain one and presented with the opportunity to obtain one via sports. If we opt not to, we not only are hindering the individual, but also the greater whole of society and humanity. If we at least take the opportunity to present students with knowledge and give them the chance to learn and develop in the class room, we may find they are just as talented inside the classroom as they may be on a playing field. You may get that student to fall in love with something just as much as sports.
Stuck in Place?
Unfortunately, this image of students struggling in school, especially African-Americans, has existed in our modern society for quite some time. One issue we face with both student-athlete and non student-athletes is the education of the poor. "A global view of history literacy indicates some general trends, that seem to be universal. First, that almost everywhere in the world literacy, had been the monopoly of a high selective religious and administrative elite. Literacy was, thus, a well-guarded province of the privileged." (Bohla 1) Literacy was seen as something not fit for the lower classes, and we see remnants of that throughout our society. This idea of being locked into your place by genes and class is something that can easily leave a teacher to feel powerless and for a student hopeless that change will ever occur, (Delpit 546). One simple thing teachers need to do, though easier said than done, is motivate while also discussing the injustice that does exist with their students. As discussed earlier, motivation is an extremely powerful tool, and can be used to accomplish wonders. Secondly, as discussed by Delpit, it is simply important to provide an example by working the hardest you can to show that you have faith in your own students. On top of that, provide examples and success stories for students to relate to such as those presented in Key or Lock? Outside of not being given an equal opportunity at education, there still lies other problems with our classrooms. Throughout school and our lives we are told live our lives and express ourselves as individuals. Yet often times when do so in our schooling it is not the individual to whom they pay attention, like preparing the whole to meet exam standards rather than teaching the individual what he or she may require. This is summed up remarkably at 2:40 in the video below. "We all have different abilities, thought process, and genes. So why is a class full of "individuals" tested by the same means?" One such reason this continues to occur is that people continue to accept things like standardized testing. "Acceptable performances on these tests convince parents their children would be able to achieve occupational and social mobility." Though that may hold true in a few instances today it is rather quite the opposite. The high school diploma no longer means what it meant 20 years ago. We often expect higher education out of our students. If that is the expectation then we need to take the next step as teachers, parents, friends, and students to prepare for The Future that is to come.