“After all, when you don’t count our poor kids, we have one of the best education systems in the world,” he writes.
By contrast, the average professional sports team, which wins no more than it loses, could learn from our public schools.
For example, we should stop paying athletes for performance. “Basketball star Lebron James can earn more than $20 million in a single season, while a teammate earns less than $1 million for doing the same job.”
It is well known that merit pay is an idea that “never works and never dies” according to education historian Diane Ravitch. After all it assumes that athletes only play for financial incentives rather than the love of the game. . . . Many pop psychologists have also pointed out that incentive pay will lead to a reduction in collaboration and intrinsic motivation. Instead, athletes should be compensated solely based on experience and whether they have a master’s degree in the sport that they play.
To prevent cheating, “we need to immediately stop evaluating teams and players based on narrow quantitative metrics, like wins and losses. A team is more than a score.”
Finally, it’s time to “stop the war on veteran athletes,” writes Barnum. “Our teams deserve experienced, qualified players — not young kids straight out of college or even high school who are supposedly faster and more athletic.”