Education or “championship of tax dodges” in BCS excess?

6 01 2009

Regular readers know JJ bleeds orange and blue, and that her beloved Gators are headed for the BCS championship game Thursday, and that UF’s famous phenom quarterback Tim Tebow is also famous as one of home education’s best-known personalities.

None of which means JJ can’t see the merits of a public policy argument like this:

“Football fans unfamiliar with the vagaries of 501(c)3 charities might not discern differences between the game played Sunday, when the Miami Dolphins were pummeled by the Baltimore Ravens, and the BCS championship game at the same address. . .

But the old boys of the tax-exempt organizations frolicking in the
skyboxes Thursday must, by law, be engaged in a strictly educational
. It may look like an ordinary football contest to casual fans, but they’re witnessing an orgy of tax-deductible charity.”

Or of this argument, that football as education is structurally flawed because its public “accountability” system builds in misplaced priorities and warped ranking mechanisms, exactly as I think NCLB’s priorities and accountability structure have warped academic education into a cutthroat game for both staff and students.

Much as I LOVE winning after all the decades of disrespect as hated rivals from other colleges and communities get the glory and the big bucks, I can see these problems and this championship competition week as a good time to suit up and “tackle” them together. If this is another manifestation of Alfie Kohn’s punished by rewards problem, more so-called free market success in education, then “winners” are being hurt too and we’re in the best position to squawk up some change.

Supposedly every problem has a solution that is simple — and wrong. School sure has been there, done that! But how about some solutions now that are creative, complicated and at least sometimes right for actual education rather than just for school-as-big-business?