Friday, January 28, 2005
The school district in Lincoln, Rhode Island has discontinued all spelling bees because they violate the No Child Left Behind Act.
"It's about one kid winning, several making it to the top and leaving all others behind," Newman said of the competition, which culminates with the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. "That's contrary to No Child Left Behind."Boloney! Spelling bees are open to all children, no matter how poorly they spell. Naturally the better spellers will advance and the less accomplished will not.
A spelling bee, she continued, is about "some kids being winners, some kids being losers," which "sends a message that this isn't an all-kids movement."
She argues that professional organizations now encourage elementary school children to participate in activities that avoid winners and losers, which is why sports teams have been eliminated for that age group.Someone needs to drag her out back and beat some sense into her. Kids need to believe they can win, of course, but they also need to know how to lose graciously. If they never lose, they never grow. It's that simple. Kids who never experience loss think things will always go their way and develop no sense of reality. Why can't so-called educators understand that concept? It's not that difficult.
Building self-esteem is the emphasis.
"You have to build positive self-esteem for all kids, so they believe they're all winners," Newman told the Call. "You want to build positive self-esteem so that all kids can get to where they want to go."
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