Baltimore School Plan to Cut Athletes for Low Grades Fails When Schools Could Not Field Teams

The City of Baltimore had decided to tell kids they could not play team sports if they didn’t get their grades up, but when they discovered that six of the city’s schools would end up with enough students to field teams, the suddenly found a problem with their policy.

Looks like sports comes in ahead of scholastics in Baltimore, huh?

According to BizPacReview:

Baltimore City Public Schools’ (BCPS) policy would have restricted student-athletes who had not achieved at least a 2.0 (“C”) GPA in summer school or the last quarter of the preceding academic year from competing in fall sports like football, reported The Baltimore Sun. The old rule only mandated that students not have failed more than one class per quarter.

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“We’re making sure we’re being fair to students who are affected by this and may not have fully understood what was at play before,” BCPS executive director of whole child services and support Sarah Warren told The Sun.

“There’s been situations that have come across my desk where a student may have been living with their grandmother, and their grandmother passes,” BCPS chief academic officer Sean Conley said. “This student may have been an A or B student, but then the grades just plummeted. We want to make sure we’re looking at the student as more of a totality than at just that one moment.”

Over 50 percent of the district’s students live in poverty, many are homeless, and many have to deal with the city’s high crime rate.

So, why dump the grades requirement? According to Benjamin Franklin High School athletic director Richard Jackson, “Our kids face so much adversity outside of school. I’d hate to have to throw even more adversity when they get to school.”

Ah, so expecting the kids to have good grades is somehow forcing “adversity” onto them?

In any case, the school system has revised its policy and will lower its grade point requirements to allow more students to qualify for sports programs in the city’s schools. But many of these kids should keep something in mind. They may be able to reach the city’s 2.0 requirements, but if they think their ability on the field will be their path to college, they better be aware that the NCAA requires a GPA of 2.3 to be accepted.

The school lowering its GPA requirements may not help these kids in any way at all in the long run.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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