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 Post subject: Major changes to SSNCT
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:29 pm 
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https://www.naqt.com/hs/small-school.html

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:17 pm 
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Good.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:46 am 
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I mean this very sincerely. I know this is something you are passionate about and I am a little disappointed we just got a one word response. Do you have any thoughts on what you think this means for schools like your alma mater and schools like it?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:51 am 
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I'll jump in and provide an answer, although my feelings on this issue are perhaps more mixed than Tom's, and I'm also curious in his perspective. I played for the Miami Valley School for four years and have been involved as a coach there for four more...the annual high school enrollment at MVS has never been more than 190 students during that time period, and my graduating class in 2009 was considered "big" with 49 students. So in a purely numerical sense, we are very small indeed.

As for what this decision means for schools like my alma mater/current employer, I'll go ahead and say it means we have another opportunity to go and test ourselves on a national stage, except this time against a much-restricted field of teams that are dealing with the same size constraints and classification that we are. Aside from this relatively self-evident point, I don't know if it means much, and I actually think that this development by NAQT is a bad compromise, meant to appease not only folks like Tom and me who think that our schools' small populations make it harder for us to compete with the top tier at HSNCT, but also those coaches at small high schools who think that AMSA or Lehigh Valley Academy have some kind of secret sauce that pushes them to the top of the SSNCT table. The value of the charter-and-private championship is diminished a little bit in my eyes, in no small part due to the 32-team cap vs. 96 for "traditional public" and over 200 for HSNCT. Besides, heaven knows the landscape of national championships in high school quiz bowl is weird and fractured enough.

If a Small School National Championship for quiz bowl is to exist, sponsored by NAQT or anyone else, I feel as though it should be open to all small schools, with no separate divisions...I don't even really mind if homeschool collectives are allowed, although I can understand why NAQT has decided to keep them out (perhaps so we don't end up with "quiz bowl factories," a la Oak Hill for basketball?) I understand many folks may disagree, and I welcome that discussion, and I certainly don't want to come off as though I don't appreciate the many elements that create different challenges for different schools. But here's the gist of my thinking:

First, I've seen firsthand how challenging it is for a school like Miami Valley to support a quiz bowl program and turn it into a real contender on the state level, to say nothing of nationals. Achieving long-term high school QB prowess is difficult for any school, but because we are so small, we might only pull one or two students out of 40 from each high school grade. Right now, we don't have any team members at all from the junior and senior class, and while I hope that changes in the future I can also anticipate that club enrollment will wax and wane. All the coaches on this board need to recruit on some level to fill their ranks, but the smaller schools really need to work hard to catch enough players to consistently field competitive teams.

Second, I think the argument that small traditional public schools and small charter/private schools can't play for the same national championship is unconvincing. The discussion about the necessity of separateness on the national forum seemed to rest on a combination of the following:

- Charter and private schools can be selective and cut underperforming students, as well as restrict their admissions pool either implicitly or explicitly by presenting themselves as "more rigorous" or "more academic." This is true, but I think this self-selection has very little impact on quiz bowl success. To have a state or national champion quiz bowl team, you need to find four students that can work together and win games against another school's four students. Four students is a very, very small chunk of a school population, even for a tiny place like MVS. Historically, schools like Fisher Catholic, South Range and Ottawa Hills have been very competitive on the state and national scene even when they were playing "big schools." Their four players were better in those tournaments than the other team's four players most of the time. And simply being a private school doesn't give any advantage in winning quiz bowl games...just look at the NAQT Results page for Miami Valley, and you'll see an excellent refutation of the argument that all private schools have to do is "roll the ball out and play" with their academic superfreaks. That argument becomes all the more invalid when you realize that quiz bowl is a game based on a certain set of skills, not an exercise of pure intellectual prowess, or how "selective" your school is, or anything not founded in buzzing in and saying the magic words.

- Charter and private schools can teach a "different curriculum" than traditional public schools, and therefore they should not be in the same division of this national championship. This, again, is factually accurate in terms of academics, but it seems silly in the context of quiz bowl. I'm very fortunate as an educator in an independent school to be able to choose my own curriculum to a vast degree, and I understand that this is a real privilege. However, in practice this means I actually focus less on covering lots of content, which is sort of antithetical to quiz bowl success. Because our English department makes up its own book lists based on class themes, and we offer no AP lit classes (to choose a convenient example of a prescribed curriculum), my team hasn't read a bunch of books for school that other teams might consider chestnuts. Most quiz bowl players that get to be excellent quiz bowl players achieve success because they study on their own, play quiz bowl, and work to get better, not because they go to some magical school where the curriculum is arranged around the quiz bowl canon. With such a wide variety of educational options and philosophies out there between all the schools in an SSNCT field, a curriculum-based argument seems to me to hold very little water.

Third, while as a private school Miami Valley's quiz bowl program doesn't have as many budget issues as some of our small-school peers, our team does not have unlimited resources. Sometimes I do end up paying tournament entry fees out of my pocket, as I'm sure many of you do/have done. Moreover, the school itself does not have unlimited resources, and our chosen size does affect how our school has structured itself...our course catalog is smaller, because we employ a smaller amount of teachers, our facilities are not mind-blowingly impressive, and while we can operate independently of a school district, it's not like our administration is bending over backwards to heap favors on quiz bowl compared to other things. And with such a small student body, it means that in most cases, our quiz bowl players are also the editors of the school paper, and starting at midfield for the soccer team, and in speech and debate...again, conflicts are not unique to private schools or small schools, but let's just say I wouldn't have played any sports for MVS if the coaches had been in a position where they could cut people. There's no realistic way for NAQT or anyone else to go down the line and determine which institutions are or aren't getting an advantage by being a charter/private school, since they differ so much in their offerings, communities, backgrounds, etc.

Because quiz bowl features such small teams, one or two players can make a huge difference for a program, and finding them at any small school is a matter of recruiting, coaching, and pure luck. If Sam Blizzard grew up in Chillicothe instead of Clayton, I have little doubt that he would have found Josh Queen (or vice versa) and CHS would have seen excellent results had they attended SSNCT. This isn't to take anything away from David Jones and his hard work coaching that entire Northmont team, and I certainly don't mean to diminish all the work that Sam put in...again, the argument isn't that you can just roll the ball out and play, but that if your players have the right drive and a committed coach you can mold them into the best four people in the match you're playing. An alternate-universe Sam at Chillicothe probably wouldn't have played 31 tournaments a year or traveled to Texas Invitational three times, and I don't know him or Northmont or fortune-telling well enough to know if that change in process would have utterly diminished his playing career, but there you go. To flip it around to MVS again, I got very lucky to have Max, John John, and William play middle school quiz bowl all at the same time (who knows what will happen to them in high school), more lucky to have them all excited to continue, and even more lucky that their families ended up coming to our school instead of wherever else...to flip selectivity around, no one is forced to come to Miami Valley or Fisher Catholic, and in a small city like Dayton that means our pool of potential quiz bowlers gets even tinier compared to what it could be. So as a small private school, your potential players have to be a) excited enough about quiz bowl to come to a practice, b) driven enough to want to study, c) committed enough to stay with the team even as they have a bunch of other things going on, and d) have parents who keep on re-upping the commitment to the school itself. With the exception of (d), all those factors are true for any school, and my assertion is that (d) can be a double-edged sword.

So, in summary: I kind of think that SSNCT is a good thing, because even though quiz bowl is four-on-four, I think there are real advantages to having an 1,000-person student body vs. 170. But I think the issues that small schools of all stripes face are too similar to warrant crowning two national championship teams at SSNCT. On this point, I give some credence to Fred Morlan's argument on the national forum:
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Charter schools should be allowed to play SSNCT. Private schools should be allowed to play SSNCT. If you don't want to lose to those teams, then get good(er). [...] If you're going to host a small school national championship, then allow teams from schools with low enrollments compete. If all it took to have a good quiz bowl team was to have a selective admissions policy, we'd have way more LASAs in our world then we do.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:48 pm 
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Tyler's post does an excellent job of explaining much of my thoughts and feelings on this subject.

In 2007-2008, Fisher Catholic had an enrollment of 317 students. Today, that number is (I believe) 172. When I was a freshman, we were at 240 students and when I graduated we had roughly 185. The City of Lancaster has become less and less of a middle-class community in the wake of the "great recession". The decline in the local economy, as you can infer from the figures I listed above, resulted in a devastating decline in enrollment from which FC might never fully recover from.

My senior year, after reaching the 6-2 mark of HSNCT by virtue of defeating eventual top-20 finisher George Washington (WV), our next draw was (Paul M.) Dorman High School of South Carolina: a school with around 3,300 students that plays in regular season events literally all across the country. Dorman A's four players were all 12th graders, by contrast Fisher's four players were 12th, 11th, 11th, and 9th (!) graders. We lost by 190 points. While it was a valiant effort and a genuinely good game, in the end experience and depth won out, and unfortunately the only thing that matters in the end is a W or an L.

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And with such a small student body, it means that in most cases, our quiz bowl players are also the editors of the school paper, and starting at midfield for the soccer team, and in speech and debate...again, conflicts are not unique to private schools or small schools, but let's just say I wouldn't have played any sports for MVS if the coaches had been in a position where they could cut people. There's no realistic way for NAQT or anyone else to go down the line and determine which institutions are or aren't getting an advantage by being a charter/private school, since they differ so much in their offerings, communities, backgrounds, etc.


Last year's lineup at HSNCT and this year's A team for Fisher is XC Runner & starting doubles player for tennis (Hunter Wotruba); Starting QB of the varsity football team and 3rd year starting catcher of the baseball team (Brock Conrad); Striker for the soccer team, varsity basketball letterman, and #2 singles player for the tennis team (Carter Corcoran); Starting defenseman for the soccer team and starting center of the basketball team (Zach Vogel).

Fisher's OAC State Runners-up finish in 2014 was made possible by the tennis coach willing to let myself, Eric Gundelfinger and Luke Schmelzer miss the MSL tournament for tennis to go play for a state title because the dates conflicted.



As supportive as I am for my alma mater, I know it is very unrealistic to expect that they can compete every year with large schools with solid programs from Chicago land (a la Rockford Auburn, Adlai Stevenson, New Trier), metro DC (Richard Montgomery, Montgomery Blair, Thomas Jefferson), New York & New Jerz (Hunter and High Tech), California (Arcadia, Torrey Pines, N. Hollywood) et al if their enrollment doesn't start to pick back up, and even then it'd be tough sailing. Even what I like to humbly think of as the "glory days" when Brandon and I were upperclassmen and we notched some good finishes at events might not come back if more students don't come back to FC.


Just a side thought: I had to miss the Sunday portion of the 2014 HSNCT because my graduation was that day and thus FC had to play it with three kids. One thing I definitely like about SSNCT is the date, because if FC were to attend SSNCT they wouldn't be running the risk of a good nationals finish being endangered by a possible graduation conflict.


Also, Ohio can probably do very well at SSNCT in both competitions.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:38 pm 
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I wasn't privy to any of the discussion that took place from NAQT's side of things leading up to this decision (and hadn't even heard anything in way of rumors at SSNCT itself), so all of the following is guesswork and speculation.

This decision has to be driven by the bottom line. The gamble NAQT is making is that more traditional public small schools will give SSNCT a shot now that the charters and privates are in a separate flight, and the addition of the private schools will make up for any of the charters that may feel as though SSNCT is no longer worth their effort as a result of the stratification.

The thing I've never liked about SSNCT is the enrollment cap...not that it exists, but how did they come up with that number -- 500 for publics, 350 for charter/private. I realize sports metaphors suck, but more than half of Ohio's schools are eligible (most likely) for SSNCT when you look at the enrollment cutoffs for OHSAA sports, particularly basketball. And I know I've been very influenced by the schools I've attended and worked with over the years, but having 166-167 kids in each grade doesn't sound small to me. 116-117 in each is better, but it still sounds fairly arbitrary to me.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Tyler, I think the 32-team cap is going to be raised to 40 or 48. For those who've been around long enough, we've seen that the Hyatt O'Hare can hold more than 128 teams/64 games at a time. I think the traditional public division will fill, but there won't be a need to raise the cap. I hope that Ohio continues to field between 20 and 25% of the teams in _both_ classifications. Smithville is already registered on the public side.

If it plays out as I outlined, with a net gain in teams and higher profitability for NAQT, more power to them...and maybe in a few years we can pry the tournament out of Rosemont and get it over to Cleveland. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:56 pm 
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QuizBoss wrote:
If it plays out as I outlined, with a net gain in teams and higher profitability for NAQT, more power to them...and maybe in a few years we can pry the tournament out of Rosemont and get it over to Cleveland. :)

Maybe you can ask R if Cleveland takes home the World Series, they can take home future SSNCTs as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:19 pm 
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QuizBoss wrote:
I hope that Ohio continues to field between 20 and 25% of the teams in _both_ classifications. Smithville is already registered on the public side.

Private schools in Ohio that play quiz bowl regularly (or semi-regularly) that have less than 350 students in grades 10-12 as of the October 2015 headcount data provided by the Ohio Department of Education: Fisher, Miami Valley, Harvest Prep,Bishop Ready, University School, Elyria Catholic, Our Lady of the Elms, and MVCDS of Toledo. St Charles is listed as having 351 students in grades 10-12 last year, so they'd be close every year on average if not eligible some years.



Agreed on 500 for public buildings being pretty high of a cap. Bexley High School, for instance, qualifies under it using 2015 data. Bexley High School is definitely not a "small" school.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Greg, I had (privately) speculated the same thing re: bottom line as a large factor for NAQT's thought process in re-evaluating SSNCT...time will tell how it ends up playing out, but I understand their desire to do what they think is necessary to grow the event and take in more profit in the process. For what it's worth, Miami Valley plans to try its luck in Chicago this year...hopefully we'll do Ohio proud (along with the Tribe, fingers crossed).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:53 am 
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ThePocketProtector wrote:
I mean this very sincerely. I know this is something you are passionate about and I am a little disappointed we just got a one word response. Do you have any thoughts on what you think this means for schools like your alma mater and schools like it?

Did you find my responses to be sufficiently explanatory of my position?

What are your thoughts?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:41 pm 
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Yeah, I'm sorry this is late. It was the end of the grading period so work came first.

All the comments were helpful. I grew up in a small, rural district. I now teach in a 800-1000 person high school. I did go to a small, Catholic school for one year in 8th grade. I point this out because I don't really know much about the world of private and charter schools. I'm around a lot of smaller, public school coaches so I wanted to hear all sides. I said something to you, Tom, because I know it is a topic we have discussed before. I don't make my mind up very quickly and I would rather hear all sides before I get too worked up. That is why I asked. I know I have big blind spots in my knowledge so I try to fill those when I can.

Small School has been a big deal around here for the last few years so I am sure that it is something I will be asked about. I would rather have a nuanced opinion if it comes up. Before the season is over, I expect I will see Waverly, Piketon, East Clinton, Huntington, and Clinton Massie who have all gone in recent years.

I agree that 500 has always seemed a bit high to me. There really isn’t that many schools in southern Ohio that are over that limit. It would be interesting to look at demographics of the schools that play quiz bowl and actually figure out if there is a better place to separate small and big.

I don’t know that I have made up my mind about this yet. I’m not directly involved so I’m still weighing everything. I haven’t decided if the positives outweigh the negatives for whichever side. I think it might take time to actually see what happens. Clearly people have taken more time to think about this than I have. They came up with this idea. I’m willing to see what shakes out. For all I know, it was this or stopping SSNCT and I know where I stand on that. I don’t know that I have all the information to make an informed opinion even now. I know what a huge force for good SSNCT has been in our area. If this doesn’t change that, then I will be happy. If for some reason it does change things for teams from southern Ohio that have been going to SSNCT, then I may rethink things.

For the record, my decision to not decide has nothing to do with the quality of the discussion. I appreciate your thoughts.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:20 am 
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ThePocketProtector wrote:
Yeah, I'm sorry this is late. It was the end of the grading period so work came first.


No worries! I think this is a good discussion to have and I just didn't want it to lose steam.

ThePocketProtector wrote:
All the comments were helpful. I grew up in a small, rural district. I now teach in a 800-1000 person high school. I did go to a small, Catholic school for one year in 8th grade. I point this out because I don't really know much about the world of private and charter schools. I'm around a lot of smaller, public school coaches so I wanted to hear all sides. I said something to you, Tom, because I know it is a topic we have discussed before. I don't make my mind up very quickly and I would rather hear all sides before I get too worked up. That is why I asked. I know I have big blind spots in my knowledge so I try to fill those when I can.


I think, on one hand, the addition of private schools can be of benefit to the SSNCT competition. While I understand that it may be the opinion of some in the national quiz bowl community that a "third [NAQT] national championship" weakens the legitimacy of quiz bowl and its national championship awarding, I do not agree. The only equality the product of quiz bowl fosters nationally is that the teams play by the same rules, on the same questions, with the same readers. Whether or not a public school in rural Ohio with 160 kids per grade has the resources and availability of four dedicated students to continuously compete year in/year out at nationals against a school of 2,000+ students in comfortable metro D.C. that has played quiz bowl for (what would now be) decades really doesn't matter when the game is played. You win, or you lose. You may have Hallsville (MO) and Glasgow (KY) that can string together competitive runs at HSNCT for a few years, but most likely those schools are going to inevitably have graduating classes where the top quiz bowl talent is involved in sports or FFA or work, despite the dedication of their coaches. Just like not all public schools (and the parameters they have to work with in order to be successful at quiz bowl on a national level) are created equal, so too I argue is the case for private schools (not all).

When the school I graduated from has the yearly rumors of facing closure by the Diocese of Columbus and sees a few students per class instead opt into larger public schools because of the ability to offer more advanced classes (Fisher now only offers 3 AP), those natures - coupled with students having other extracurricular obligations - undoubtedly hinder the ability of Fisher to retain the resources to be competitive year in/year out with large, well-funded public schools found in Southern California, Chicagoland, the D.C. Metro, and the New York tri-state. I do not think the "private" designation of schools such as FC and those in other similar situations is simply enough to elevate their programs on the level to that of Hunter College HS, Maggie Walker, Richard Montgomery et al and hold the same expectations for perennial competitiveness. Now, FC has attended every HSNCT since 2007 (as well as the 2003 competition) and I don't expect them to just stop attending HSNCT in favor of SSNCT, but I imagine they will at least consider attending SSNCT now that they're eligible.

I have no qualms about there being a separate division at SSNCT, nor do I feel the division waters down the national title awarded. NCAA awards three separate national champions in all sports, except for football which awards four. We don't expect Mt. Union football or North Dakota State to be competitive with Alabama and Ohio State in the college football playoff, because we're realistic about the disparities between the former two schools and their abilities (or lack thereof) to mold the 'national champion' for FBS compared to the latter two. Those divisions exist because there is disparity; do we call into question the national titles NDSU and Mt. Union have won recently in football? I know this isn't really the position you brought forth, Coach Queen: I just figure I would hammer my argument out of the way on this discussion relating to that claim because it is one that does exist (that more NAQT national titles = weakens quiz bowl's optics as an activity that crowns national champions) that some may think is reason enough for there to not have a private school division as well as an SSNCT competition overall.

ThePocketProtector wrote:
I agree that 500 has always seemed a bit high to me. There really isn’t that many schools in southern Ohio that are over that limit. It would be interesting to look at demographics of the schools that play quiz bowl and actually figure out if there is a better place to separate small and big.


I think the general quiz bowl community, nationally, has had a huge blind spot in regards to this. There are going to be obvious differences in what a school in an enclave, well-to-do suburb of a major city has to work with when it comes to forming a competitive quiz bowl team versus a rural, spread-out district that doesn't have the tax base to provide competitive enough funding for the extracurricular programs or the school itself. I would imagine that communities such as Ottawa Hills, Beachwood, and Bexley - or in national perspective, Falls Church VA and George Mason High School (2011 S.S. champs) - are going to have kids that live 10 minutes at maximum from school with more opportunities to pursue post-secondary classes, AP (+ IB), access to nearby libraries, and possibly a greater percentage of kids that come from two-parent, double income households. They probably don't have kids that are expected to take on jobs that are 20 hours a week or kids that have to get up early and tend to the animals. I'm not positing that the academic teams of rural districts are necessarily comprised of kids that have to take on more responsibilities, but it certainly would be fair to speculate (I think) that many of the rural districts have a sizable enough percentage of students that do have these additional responsibilities that it eliminates a percentage of students from being able to do quiz bowl and play on Saturdays.

ThePocketProtector wrote:
I don’t know that I have made up my mind about this yet. I’m not directly involved so I’m still weighing everything. I haven’t decided if the positives outweigh the negatives for whichever side. I think it might take time to actually see what happens. Clearly people have taken more time to think about this than I have. They came up with this idea. I’m willing to see what shakes out. For all I know, it was this or stopping SSNCT and I know where I stand on that. I don’t know that I have all the information to make an informed opinion even now. I know what a huge force for good SSNCT has been in our area. If this doesn’t change that, then I will be happy. If for some reason it does change things for teams from southern Ohio that have been going to SSNCT, then I may rethink things.

For the record, my decision to not decide has nothing to do with the quality of the discussion. I appreciate your thoughts.


While I'm not privy to any more information than you are with what went down at NAQT to make the decision to allow private schools in and thus create a separation at SSNCT, from all accounts I've read it doesn't seem like the addition of private and charter schools should threaten the ability of SSNCT to survive down the road. The private schools and charter schools will play in a separate division. I can't imagine this will cause small school public coaches to throw their hands in the air and say "yeah, no thanks", let alone enough to make a sizable defection to where the future viability of SSNCT is called into question. I think this could possibly make the future viability of SSNCT more promising, in fact. If it is true that there were concerns that the allowance of charter schools to play with public schools were amounting in some SSNCT public participants to consider stop attending the event, then perhaps this move spares the defection. I think this also opens the door for small private schools that were previously discouraged from attending any good quiz bowl national championship to start taking a look at SSNCT as an event they can consider "postseason 'home'", like a goal. It's revealed there will be a supply on NAQT's part, now the question is will there be a demand on the part of the small private schools?



The only thing that I understand could call into question the future of SSNCT as a result of this schism is the tricky situation (and handling) of charter schools and where they belong. The only person that might know what is up with this would probably be Greg. I don't know to what degree this supposed problem exists and to what degree it could be amplified, but my understanding is NAQT's new rules on charter school admission into SSNCT has apparently eliminated several schools from participating in the 2017 competition. I don't know what the deal with Advanced Math and Science Academy (MA) is, but I guess they are a school that is affected by this. From what I gather, across certain parts of the country more and more schools are being built under the "charter" school label and some areas are seeing public schools converted into "charter" schools (New Orleans? Chicago?). I guess in some places, the functions and definitions of a "charter" school are different than in other places which has led to some debate as to what constitutes a fair, inclusive way to determine eligibility of charter schools in to SSNCT.

It may be fair for me to suppose that the topic of charter schools and their future at SSNCT was going to come up with or without the inclusion of private schools. Perhaps I'm biased, but the thing to keep your eyes pealed regarding SSNCT may be the future of charter schools and their eligibility, not private schools.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:49 pm 
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I think, Tom, your prediction has a lot of merit...I know that with the proliferation of charters over the past few years, that landscape is really varied, and listening to some folks from charter schools try to explain their various wrinkles, admissions policies, etc. can be quite a confounding experience. I think NAQT has done the best it can for now to draw a clear line in the sand, but I don't envy the SSNCT committee who has to evaluate any program that tries to argue for its classification in one division or the other. I can certainly see some kind of weird "charter?" school in a form we haven't imagined yet coming along at some point and providing another unique test for NAQT, but right now it looks pretty clear: either your school has some kind of admissions policy or it doesn't.

To bring back something from my last post, the question will be how many private schools and charters NAQT will be able to draw out this year and the next...I assume they've done their research about what kind of market is out there, but I've heard some of the stronger charter school programs have threatened to not play SSNCT because they only can attend one national and they wanted to play against "the best small schools." To them this means Glasgow, West Point (AL), etc., and while you can say there's arrogance in that viewpoint it may mean a problem for the charter-and-private division...sort of a "what if they had a national championship and no one showed up" kind of thing. There's also plenty of time for those programs to have their bluff called and decide to play anyway, which would make these concerns relatively meaningless.

If charter schools (and private schools also) were viewed as existential threats to SSNCT because of traditional public objection, I can understand NAQT's position: with more divisions, they get to offer something for everyone and make money doing it, so why not. The competition-loving side of me, though, still wants to see the champions of those two divisions play each other, just to see if the perception of a divide translates into reality and also to give the teams and their supporters some more really good quiz bowl. Maybe there's a possibility for some kind of exhibition akin to the All-Star Game at NSC, but I don't know if it's realistic to have both teams agree to play, or for people to want to hang around after a long nationals. Some on the national board have floated a scenario where there's one tournament with a bigger field, with a special championship trophy for the top team in each division (like how NAQT used to honor small schools at HSNCT), but maybe that would not be a suitable solution for the traditional public programs that have expressed objections to having charters in the field.

_________________
Tyler Benedict
Coach, Miami Valley School MS Quiz
Assistant, Miami Valley School HS Quiz
Miami Valley School '09


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