Friday, January 28, 2005

Leave ALL Children Behind!

The Corner on National Review Online has a story (their source link isn't working) about a Rhode Island school district that's cancelled their spelling bee. Here;s the sauce:

"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.

"It’s about one kid winning, several making it to the top and leaving all others behind. That’s contrary to No Child Left Behind," Newman said.

A spelling bee, she continued, is about "some kids being winners, some kids being losers."

As a result, the spelling bee "sends a message that this isn’t an all-kids movement," Newman said.

Furthermore, professional organizations now frown on competition at the elementary school level and are urging participation in activities that avoid winners, Newman said. That’s 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 they’re all winners," she said. "You want to build positive self-esteem so that all kids can get to where they want to go."

A spelling bee only benefits a few, not all, students, the elementary principals and Newman agreed, so it was canceled.

The poster added: A local anchorwoman has some common sense, commenting: Winning a spelling bee..."just meant you were a good speller."

Someone should forward this story to Al Queda to show that they can just call off the jihad because we're doing a perfectly good job in destroying ourselves already.

If any of you are sports fans, how would you feel if the Super Bowl were cancelled so that one team of steroid-engorged millionaires wouldn't feel bad about themselves? All you Boston readers - have you considered the feelings of New Yorkers? For shame!

I wonder what's behind this drive to pasteurize out the desire to prosper in or children? Where's the next Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs going to come from if no one wants to innovate because there's no reward, either financially or spiritually?

I'm guessing that the Rhode Island schools aren't assigning Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" which depicts a future (now?) in which everyone is made equal by crippling the above-average to bring them in line with the lowest common denominator. That would be too ironic.

No comments: