January 28, 2005

CAN YOU SPELL "IGNORAMUS?" (via Kevin Whited):

School district cancels spelling bee (RONALD R. BLAIS, 1/27/05, The Call)

The Lincoln district has decided to eliminate this year’s spelling bee -- a competition involving pupils in grades 4 through 8, with each school district winner advancing to the state competition and a chance to proceed to the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C.

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.

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 district’s 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. "It’s our responsibility to find as many ways as possible to accomplish this."

The administrators agreed, Newman said, that a spelling bee doesn’t meet the criteria of all children reaching high standards -- because there can only be one winner, leaving all other students behind. "

Is it any wonder our children isn't learning when their teachers are this stupid?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 28, 2005 12:49 PM

No, no, it's not stupidity. It's cleverness. The teachers don't really read the Act that way -- they're deliberately misconstruing it for their own theatrical purposes. Like a city that punishes its citizens for a tax shortfall by slashing the police and fire services, because all the other budget items are so indispensable.

Come to think of it, yeah, it's stupidity.

Posted by: Guy T. at January 28, 2005 1:07 PM

Next Bush must squash the teachers' unions. Until they are dust, no kid in public school can become an educated adult.

Posted by: erp at January 28, 2005 1:15 PM

It's obvious this jackass is deliberately misinterpreting NCLB for political purposes... and if the children are punished, so what?

The parents who are paying this a******'s salary had any sack, they'd steamroll her and make her life miserable until the bee was restored.

It's a nice demonstration of an administrator who has lost sight of the mission.


Posted by: Brian McKim at January 28, 2005 1:23 PM

One man writes a book in defense of elitism--then promptly suffers a fatal heart attack. One gigantic union endorses "the bigotry of low expectations" and lives on.

Posted by: Brent Anderson at January 28, 2005 1:33 PM


Posted by: Jeff Guinn at January 28, 2005 2:00 PM

Not having to spell is punishment?

Posted by: oj at January 28, 2005 2:53 PM

I'm ashamed to admit that I am in the teaching profession when I see such unprofessional behavior in other teachers.

Posted by: Bartman at January 28, 2005 2:55 PM

This is the inevitable result of nonsense like NCLB. The fact that intelligence is distributed along a bell-shaped curve cannot be legislated out of existence and a certain percentage of the children are simply unfit, as incapable of performing in the classroom as I am of lifting the Sphinx.

NCLB=the disappearance of even a hint of standards.

Posted by: Bart at January 28, 2005 3:15 PM

Seriously Bart aren't you just focussing on the title of the legislation, rather than its actual requirements. I've never read the legislation but surely it means there should be an attempt to make sure that all children meet a "minimum" standard rather than that all should have "equal" results.

Posted by: h-man at January 28, 2005 4:10 PM

There is no such thing as a minimum standard which 'all' kids can meet. Not every patient can be cured and not every kid can be taught.

I'm all in favor of standards. We should return to the days when NYC had three types of high school diplomas, academic, commercial and general, and each one had real requirements. We should have real vocational education with 'outmoded' concepts like apprenticeships so that kids who aren't college-bound can learn marketable skills. We should be using books like ED Hirsch's series or the Saxon math curriculum as a basis for what kids should master in elementary school. But we should reasonably anticipate that some kids will fail. That is life. That is reality.

Posted by: Bart at January 28, 2005 4:40 PM

Teaching IS NOT A PROFESSION. A profession is a line of work where failure can cost the client his / her / its life...

Posted by: M. Murcek at January 28, 2005 4:53 PM

Another episode in the destruction of faux professions. Teaching and reporting were anointed, transformed, and elevated by word (journalists, educators) and institutions (Columbia Univ.'s dynamic duo of schlock shops, the grad schools of Ed. and Journalism) and ego ("You are credentialed to go out and change the world!). It was a fraud, of course, but is now coming into full bloom and view. The cedentialed cretins are in full auto destruct mode.

Posted by: LUCIFEROUS at January 28, 2005 4:57 PM

M Murcek:

Interesting echo of Hemingway's distinction between a game and a sport.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at January 28, 2005 7:12 PM