A LYS Principal submits: So, a student on my campus misses a whole day of school to attend a track meet, days before TAKS test. This student is a prime candidate to score commended on TAKS given a few test-taking skills, which we are in the middle of teaching. This student participated in the track meet for one event, a total of less than 12 minutes. THIS IS INSANE! School leaders should be screaming at UIL for this travesty! Where is our outrage? Athletics cannot be allowed to either drive or interfere with the learning process. I am more convinced than ever that the demonstrated (not written) goals of UIL and athletics are totally incompatible with student academic achievement. SC Response This is where are views begin to diverge again. I still believe athletics has a place in the academic environment. But I do think that place should be re-evaluated on a regular basis. And I think now is the time for a re-evaluation. Given our current budget and accountability environment, athletics as usual is difficult to defend and even more difficult to sustain. However, any significant change will have to be led by principals. The coaching community has a vested interest in winning. The superintendent community has a vested interest in keeping school boards happy. The principal community has a vested interest in making sure that the schools are academically successful. Until there is a critical mass of principals that are willing to stand up and say “enough is enough” the vested interests of the first two groups will continue to trump the vested interest of the third. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/4ydqd4t Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation