And I don’t have a problem with sports; I love sports and played sports all my life. But we’re the only country that makes sports a core mission of school. In most countries, kids play sports outside of school: they do pick-up games, recreational leagues. Sports are not part of what principals and teachers have to think about every day. So sports itself is not the problem. The problem is a broader lack of focus and consensus about what school is for. And kids and parents pick up on that. My child’s school is constantly asking me to do things that have nothing to do with learning. That does not happen in Finland [nor in Spain]. Finnish elementary schools do not ask their parents to hold auctions. So there’s a limited amount of time and energy, and if we don’t have a clear consensus and focus on what matters, then it is easy to do things that feel good and that do create community bonds that are important, but don’t actually lead to helping your child learn to think for himself.
emphasis and brackets added