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Red-Shirting Middle Schoolers?

Red-Shirting Middle Schoolers?

Just finished reading David McKenna’s article on the rise of redshirting middle school boys to give them an athletic advantage.


Gone are the days when a boys was held back a year for academic reasons. Now it appears parents are keeping their boys back in order to make the elite travel teams or get those early verbal commitments from colleges. Older kids get better advantages as discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Outliers. Thinking back to when I was teaching 7th and 8th graders a few years ago, there was only one instance when we allowed a kid to repeat a grade. And that was based on the maturity of that kid as a freshman. There was no athletic motive involved in that decision. However, incoming kids were sometimes asked to repeat a grade in order to be better prepared academically to the rigors of our school.

My wife used to teach Pre-First and I remember each year she had to make a huge presentation to the Kindergarten parents about the benefits of going to Pre-First instead of First Grade. Many parents felt it was a Scarlet Letter to have that extra year. Now it seems, more parents will opt for the Pre-First after reading this article?

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