Minneapolis schools table effort to ease athlete GPA requirement - KMSP-TV

Minneapolis schools table attempt to ease GPA requirement for athletes

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The Minneapolis School Board was considering adjusting the GPA requirements to keep athletes interested in school by keeping them in sports -- but they have tabled the plan because there are too many unanswered questions.

Though board members had planned to vote on the concept on Tuesday, the meeting didn't go as planned.

The proposal would have lowered the athletic GPA standard from 2.0 to 1.0, but many board members say they simply don't know whether the move would hurt or help students in the long run at this point.

"Many of our students slip through the cracks because of a lack of academic support at school and at home," said Rebecca Gagnon. "National research shows that students engaged in school via student activities and sports do much better academically than their disengaged peers."

Most school districts don't have a GPA bar, Chief Commission Officer Stan Alleyne told FOX 9 News -- but he said the 2.0 standard sets the school system apart from others in the state.

"What we don't want to do is pas or approve anything that is going to take away from that," Alleyne said.

Most board members expressed a desire to run the proposal by a few learning committees and a new athletic director who has yet to be hired; however, at least one local football coach told FOX 9 News he doesn't think lowering the standard is ever a good idea.

"If a kid ain't even at a 2.0, he's not going to achieve at a college education," said Michael Tate, coach of the North Commons football team. "I think our kids, academically, can be strong at a 2.0. I'm of the belief that if you dumb it down, kids won't achieve what they can."

On the other side of the coin, those in favor of lowering the standards for athletes say it will help students who are homeless or experience language barriers.

There is no word on when the board may revisit the issue and make a final decision at this time.

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