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School district cancels spelling bee (NCLB-related)

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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:08 AM
Original message
School district cancels spelling bee (NCLB-related)
*snip*

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Newman said the decision to scuttle the event was reached shortly after the January 2004 bee in a unanimous decision by herself and the districts elementary school principals.

The administrators decided to eliminate the spelling bee, because they feel it runs afoul of the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

"No Child Left Behind says all kids must reach high standards," Newman said. "Its our responsibility to find as many ways as possible to accomplish this."

The administrators agreed, Newman said, that a spelling bee doesnt meet the criteria of all children reaching high standards -- because there can only be one winner, leaving all other students behind.

*snip*

more here
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booksenkatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. As a former spelling bee winner
I'm going to pull my own head off now, to take the pain away.
<pop>
There, that's much, much better!

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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Might as well cancel all sports, band contests, matholympics, etc, eh?
Nothing wrong with a little competition to sharpen the skills...
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LiberallyInclined Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
33. A "little" competition is one thing-
IMHO the culture of competition is waaay out of hand in this country. It seems like everything is about competition in one way or the other, and everyone has to be the BEST at something, and everything needs someone to be the best at it.
would it hurt so much if we shifted the concentration on and glorification of competition, and did a little more to stress the importance of cooperation instead?
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. I was one too
I won for my school and went all the way to state before I lost. A little competition is a good thing.
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livetohike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
2. I love this part
"You have to build positive self-esteem for all kids, so they believe theyre all winners," she said. "You want to build positive self-esteem so that all kids can get to where they want to go."

Now what happens when the kids grow up and find out they all can't "get to where they want to go?" Do we have a generation of adults who have never known disappointment?



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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. This is crazy
What happens when they apply for jobs? Only one person gets the position. So there has to be competition, if only to sharpen skills.
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #16
35. You ask "What happens when they apply for jobs?"
and state: "Only one person gets the position."

This is America. What happens is that they sue somebody.

Hope I don't sound like an old fart, but this is the sort of stuff that has imbued the younger generations in this country (I see it in my kids and their friends) with an astonishing sense of entitlement--if they want something, they feel they should have it, and not because they need it or can afford it; the only issue is that they want it.

Redstone
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
3. Wow ... A direct hit broadside to NCLB
I had never thought of it in these terms but makes sense. From now on there can be nobody excelling at anything because that will mean some will be left behind. :crazy:
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Didn't Vonnegut write a short story about that? nt
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. ''Harrison Bergeron''
From Welcome to the Monkey House

http://www.vonnegutweb.com/collections/wttmh.html
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
37. Yep! Welcome to the Monkey House
they had equalizers that added lead weights to better
athletes. ugly masks for those who had beauty, etc.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. No more science fairs either, huh?
Hey, I was the best musician at our school by the time I graduated. However, I was horrible with math. Never could wrap my mind around anything beyond Algebra I, and I struggled with that.

My point is that different students have different strengths; I would have been furious not have not received any musical recognition at all just because it made the very last-chair clarient look bad. Conversely, not getting on my case to at least try to do well in math would have done me an equal disservice.

This is just.... wrong. Spelling bees are a school tradition everywhere, or almost so. :wtf: is wrong with our country?

Don't answer that.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. None left behind because none are going forward.
PS. GW can KISS my left behind
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
27. stupid reasoning by this school district!!
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. NCLB = plummeting to the lowest common denominator?
Oh, that's helpful for advancing education.

Notice to gifted children: Too f**king bad about your potential. We do not want you reaching for the stars. Might upset some other kids who cannot achieve what you may be capable of. Here, take this spatula and go flip some burgers...
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. On my "Teacher, Teacher" site
I have an essay entitled "We Don' Need No Stinkin' Gifted Programs," about how gifted students are shortchanged by our educational system:

http://www.teacherblue.homestead.com/gifted.html
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koopie57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
6. *soft sigh*
why is it that I no longer can tell a joke from a truth anymore? Use to be I could assume this was a joke and be correct. But these days, you just can't make this stuff up. It is true? Is it a joke? I'll think about it and find out later!
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. Thank you. I thought I was reading an article from the Onion
and I am glad someone else shares my sense of unreality.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
7. Wow, this is really dumb.
Just watch... Even though this is because of Bush's NCLB, the conservatives are going to paint this as touchy-feely liberalism run amok.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. My thoughts exactly.
Remember how they screamed about outcome-based education? (which was also crap, IMO) They'll see this as a thinly-veiled attempt by the "commies" in the public school system to discredit NCLB. As if it needed to be discredited by anything other than its miserable existance...
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DistantWind88 Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Look NCLB is a misguided program
But this whacko administrator is reaching an illogical, asinine "conclusion" as to what NCLB requires. Does her stand mean that they won't grade students either...or just give them all A's?
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. so, where is the repug outcry over this obvious attempt at political
correctness, which they hammered dems on for years?

This is precisely the same type of thing. I disagree with Political Correctness from any party, but it's ironic that the pugs are okay with this, because it's a present from the Chimp in Chief.

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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. I actually live about 15 minutes from this town...
I heard about this story yesterday on local talk radio, and was expecting to see something on it then. I wouldn't post it until I found a link, though, which I didn't until I found this one. In any case, the local "conservative" talk show hosts (though there no where in the league of F'n Hannity and Limbaugh) are outraged about this. Most of the local "liberal" talk show hosts seem upset about this too. I have yet to hear anyone (of any political ilk) on any of these shows call and actually defend the actions of the school system. Most people don't see it as a NCLB issue here, either. As another poster has already noted, the conservatives see it as a thinly veiled attack on the NCLB and the *. The liberals see it as just flat out idiotic.
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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
14. Then why do schools teach capitalism
Only a few people control the wealth and so many students will be left behind...
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
17. Mediocrity, rather than excellence is the goal
of standardized testing.
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Interesting how the converse of No Child Left Behind is...
No Child Out In Front.


Paying too much attention to the minimums of performance means not enough attention to the maximums of performance. Two sides of the same coin.




That said, I do think there are pockets of American culture that over-emphasize the winner/champion/best. It's not about self-esteem to me; it's about teaching kids how to handle reality.

In real life, yes, there are winners and losers. But contrary to many of our favorite stories and myths, the losers don't always deserve to lose. The winners don't always deserve to win.

Winners don't win forever. And losers don't lose forever. Winners don't get a free pass to a happily-ever-after. And losers don't automatically become anonymous peons or disappear into the crowd.

Life for winners and losers always goes on. And both need to deal constructively with each other after the fact.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
32. Whuddaya meen?
Hoo nieds two no ha two spel ennyhoo??? Yew kin beecom preztledunce wit out noing ha two spel!!!!
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
21. Yes, lets shelter children from competition
after all, it's not like they'll every have to experience it in the real world...
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d.l.Green Donating Member (273 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
24. Socialist Education by Fascist Government posing as Democracy /nt
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
25. Sacrificing kids to make a point?
I realize these administrators want to make a point. But have to wonder. Couldn't they have accomplished that without do a disservice to the kids.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. all work and no play makes susie groupy


....Through the years, it had become a tradition for Adams to pronounce and define spelling words used in the bee.

"It was just fun," she said last Monday from her office at the television studio.
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
28. There will be no overachievers in Murka! Look what underachieving
did for bush.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
29. A Brilliant Message That Will Get Lost on Most (Irony Alert)
The whole point with testing is competition, especially in today's classrooms. NCLB has testing at its base, it's all about testing.

This shows how improperly named NCLB really is.

I can't think of a single mainstream - or too many alternatives, for that matter - news outlet that will delve into "concept." Viewers drop like flies.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
30. They're batty.
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 01:31 PM by igil
"The administrators decided to eliminate the spelling bee, because they <b>feel</b> it runs afoul of the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

...

"Furthermore, professional organizations now frown on competition at the elementary school level and are urging participation in activities that avoid winners, Newman said. Thats why there are no sports teams at the elementary level, she said as an example.

"The emphasis today, she said, is on building self-esteem in all students.

"You have to build positive self-esteem for all kids, so they believe theyre all winners," she said. "You want to build positive self-esteem so that all kids can get to where they want to go." "

I've taught undergrads that have great self-esteem: it's been amply manured and kept from any unpleasant things like "correction". They can't feed themselves or change their own diapers, much less write a coherent paragraph, but damn it, they have great self-esteem and "feel" that their opinion on the course subject matter is equal to mine. They whine when they get bad grades, and say they deserve better. I ask them why, and the mutter something about dignity and respect and then they get the "deer in headlights" look as they realize I am not a believer in social promotion or unearned respect.

Edited to correct bad grammar. (Must repeat to self: proof-read what you post, *even the title*.)
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genieroze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
31. huh?
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 01:38 PM by genieroze
:wtf:
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
34. Any ex-military here think this sounds familiar?
collective punishment. IF one person "screws up" every has to pay the price.

Welcome to the Occupation.
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Bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
36. I read this and my head exploded
.....alternate reality...I keep telling myself.
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