A friend sent me a bunch of articles ( blogs) and I thought I would share.. Makes an interesting read. Straw Dogs Blog | November 14, 2011 | By Steven Kaplan At what age or level, if any, does home-schooling become necessary for a serious tennis player? I summarized by stating "While the tennis rewards of home schooling are undeniable, the educational compromise and risk engendered by this road make it all too often a well-intended but misguided decision for families at any age." I e-mailed the full text of my answer to Jose Higueras, head of USTA High Performance. He responded several hours later by saying "In general, I agree with you, but I believe it can be the right move for "some" kids. I find this a curious answer since the USTA High Performance Program at Flushing, as well as all other High Performance facilities recommends Home Schooling to most, if not all its participants. I e-mailed Mr.Higueras back twice, each time asking him for a more detailed answer. First I asked, "Specifically, which children do you believe benefit educationally and vocationally from home schooling? I think the word choice "some" is broad. I then added, "The USTA offers a tennis training program that engenders home schooling and you agree that home schooling is right for 'some,' but not all kids. I think the ramifications of this decision are profound. Do you think it would be a worthwhile idea for the USTA to recommend or perhaps even to provide an educational counselor or consultant to parents as part of the High Performance Program?" I have not received a response. While we consult Zagat's before choosing a restaurant, and Trip Advisor before reserving a hotel room, one of the most important educational decisions in our children's lives may be made without seeking extensive expert advice. Since the USTA dispenses institutional recommendations about education from a position of great authority to eager parents, engaging an expert to help recommend the best decision would be the responsible thing to do. As a result, the appropriate candidates for home schooling can be identified from a broader perspective then simply, "tennis ability." Some ancient cultures built Straw Dogs and worshiped them as idols in elaborate ceremonies. When this ritual was over, these Straw Dogs were discarded, and burned like trash. I listened to a great deal of spin during this year's U.S. Open broadcast from Pat McEnroe about the successes and promising future of the shining stars of U.S. Player development. However, these players represent less than one percent of the program. I heard nothing about the Straw Dogs of tennis who, with the blessing of the USTA, comprised their academic, social and career potential to drop out of school to play tennis. Arthur Ashe, who championed the ideal that tennis can be the means to providing education and implored kids to stay in school, must be turning over in his grave. Older one ( same subject): USTA Says Skip School, Play Tennis Blog | August 10, 2010 | By Steven Kaplan With the back to school season fast approaching, Long Islanders should be proud that they have a collective ideal which emphasizes the value of education, and as a result, some of the finest schools in the world. So it's back to school in September, EXCEPT for a select few of the best young players in the area that is, if the USTA has it's say. That's right, the USTA is suggesting that the players in their winter program might be better off receiving education by "home schooling," rather than by staying in school. How could this be? Maybe it's business expediency. Those in the Junior Development business know what impedes their business. Tournaments limit attendance at programs, so it's not surprising that the USTA conveniently suggested that players in the Flushing Program are better served by temporarily forgoing tournaments to attend the program. This is a radical departure from there previous initiative of encouraging tournament play by developing a system of gathering points by playing as many tournaments as possible. This system saw tournament attendance (as well as tournament-generated income) skyrocket. Does anyone see a pattern developing here since school gets in the way of Junior Development attendance too? The USTA in their new role as High Performance educators do not choose to send the message "stay in school," as Arthur Ashe once so strongly advocated. Rather, they have set up their own "school" because they believe they can provide a better education or maybe they simply don't care about the consequences if they can't. I have nothing against home schooling as a family decision mind you. I take strong exception, however, if it is an agenda-driven institutional recommendation. Ironically, Patrick McEnroe, the head of USTA Player Development, went to the best schools, Buckley, Trinity and Stanford, and improved slowly in a balanced environment on his way to the top. Sadly, times have changed. I hope all of the sixth grade dropouts created by this program make it on the professional tennis tour. If not, then I can think of at least one organization whose conduct indicates that they have high level jobs for those with questionable educational standards.