More info on reasons 14-16

14. In football, volunteers from the Community are sought after. No sports program in a high school could ever operate without assistant coaches, trainers, and other local people who aren't paid to help out. These people give hours and hours to, the school in exchange for a handshake, a vinyl jacket. and a free dinner at the end of the season. Volunteers are a natural part of human activity. There are almost never any volunteers in the classroom -- no adults who seem to believe that math or chemistry is so interesting that they would help out with it for free on a regular basis. There's no sense that anyone other than "the expert" can contribute to a discussion of ideas.

15. In football, ability isn't age linked. Freshmen who excel can play varsity. In a ninth-grade English classroom, an extraordi- nary student can't go beyond what the other ninth-grade students are doing, even if he or she could profit from being assigned to the seniors.

When a student tries out for football. he gets a careful looking over by several coaches, and if he's really good they're going to move him up fast. In the classroom, if that same student is really good--if he's inspired--one person sees it any gives an A. Big deal--its the same A that someone else gets for just complet- ing the requirements without inspiration.

The pace of advancement in football isn't linked to equal ad- vancement in another, irrelevant area. If a boy is and adequate jv basketball player, but an extraordinary football player, the football coach isn't going to say that the boy has to stay with the JV football team so that he's consistent with his grade level. No way! The coach is going to tell that player. "Come on up here: we need you. "Have you ever heard an English teacher recruit a young student by saying "We need you in this classroom"? Have you ever hear a science teacher say "Your presence is crucial to how this course operates--we're not going at our full potential without you"?

16. Football is more than the sum of its parts. Players practice specific moves over and over in isolation, but they know that their job at the end is going to mean putting all those moves to- gether. In school we keep the parts separate. We don't show our students how a creative writer might use a knowledge of science; we don't show them how a historian writer might want to know about the building trades: we don't show them how a mechanic can take joy in knowing about American history. We don't let our students see the way that all these different interests might come together into a worthwhile and fascinating life. We pretend they're all separate.