Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
A University of North Carolina “student” earned an A- for this “final paper” in a special class for athletes.
One friggin paragraph? I’ve written reports and term papers longer in my high school days more than 30 years ago.
I guess UNC isn’t an academic powerhouse, and the students who actually earn their degrees wind up paying for it.
UNC Chapel Hill is actually very difficult to get into. It is the North Carolina equivalent of UC Berkeley.
On the other hand, it can’t seem to resist this crap, pretending the kids it recruits in order to field a championship basketball team are actually earning a college education.
The athlete watched and then transcribed from the video “The Story of Rosa Parks” by Mazarella Media (http://tinyurl.com/lefopru). I use that video with my fourth and fifth graders. They would have written a more substantial paragraph.
All I can say is WOW!!! I doubt I would be accepted to UNC. But you can bet your bottom dollar I can read and write more than a 1 paragraph paper. This whole thing is a sham. And the more this comes to light the more these colleges look bad. The alum need to stop donating their hard earned money to a scam.
This is what you get when you combine athletes with any of the identity studies programs.
Some things never change. My last college writing class was in the early 1980s. We reviewed all drafts of our work in groups. A University of Minnesota varsity football player was in my group. If you take the Rosa Parks paragraph, remove all of the punctuation, all of the correct spelling, and any attempt to match verb tense to subject, you end up with what this varsity guy would turn in for a final version, after 5 or 6 rewrites. Same for each of the 4 or 5 papers we had to write. We don’t know which students got which grades, but when the final grades were posted, the lowest grade in the class was a B.
Maybe preferential grading’s considered part of his compensation package.
Why is no one upset with the K-12 school district(s) that let him graduate with limited knowledge?
We don’t have enough information to criticize the K-12 school district (assuming he went to a public school). If this student is one with a significant cognitive disability, which is certainly possible, having approximately a third-grade level of literacy at high school completion would in fact be a fairly good outcome, and not one achieved without a lot of effective teaching. I had a student like this who was a very gifted athlete and could well have been in this student’s position (I lost track of my student after 11th grade but it’s quite possible he was recruited on an athletic scholarship).
If this young man had average ability however this is indeed a poor outcome, but we haven’t sufficient data to know who bears the most responsibility.
There is nothing new here, though. When I was in graduate school at a fairly academically rigorous university, my roommate was as part of her fellowship duties tutoring one of the football team stars. He was even more academically challenged than this student appears to be. He did not flunk out.
Is it mean to say that someone who has a severe cognitive disability should not graduate high school? Is it mean to say that someone who simply can’t do high school work, through no fault of his or her own, should not get a high school diploma?
Many states (I don’t know about all) do NOT give a student with cognitive disabilities a high school diploma, at least not a regular diploma. It will be a modified or IEP diploma, or a graduation certificate of some other name, but distinct from one achieved by passing the requisite high school courses.
I have no problem with this. A student, with whatever disabilities, who attends school, works hard and has success deserves recognition of same. The student’s transcript clearly indicates what level of achievement was completed, and the diploma or certificate reflects this.
It’s not about being “mean” or not, but of changing legislation or college entrance criteria, if the current ones are deemed unsuitable. As it is, colleges can accept “mature students” without a diploma, so there is plenty of wiggle room for athletes or others who may not meet regular entry criteria.
Should colleges be required to have stricter entry criteria? That is a whole different issue.
Another reason why we need to stop the pretense of “student athlete” and just pay these kids. The recent right to unionize ruling may be the thin wedge.
The author of the book, The Hundred-Yard Lie, about college football, suggested that colleges should be able to choose either (1) to have REAL student-athlete teams whose members would have to meet the same academic standards as other student, and who would play a limited and local schedule, or (2) to hire and pay players to wear the school colors and represent the school at the current DI level, with travel and tournaments included. They would not, however be students.
I’d like to see the latter run as a farm system, by the NFL/NBA etc.
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