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(Some RIer)   Town in Rhode Island cancels spelling bee because it "violates No Child Left Behind"   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
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19260 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jan 2005 at 7:07 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2005-01-28 07:51:25 AM  
2005-01-28 07:35:39 AM Villain

"Kids play games. They know there are winners and losers. Do you need to have a winner and a loser in a classroom where the goal is supposed to be learning?"

When it comes to schooling (and just about anything in the various stages of a child's development), one of the things they should have the opportunity to learn is that people who do a good job and/or work hard will be duly rewarded. But if educator's aren't allowed to reward excellence, for fear of 'leaving other children behind', what motivation will there be for these kids to succeed?

"Don't worry, little Timmy - you might have failed English, but if President Bush can get into office, there's hope for you yet."
2005-01-28 07:51:34 AM  

In Virginia they have Standards of Learning (SOL) exams. A child's performance not only affects their advancement, but a high percentage of children must do well or it affects school funding, teachers' salaries, and even their jobs.

So... even from middle school, classes are taught like a lame Freshman College class:
1. Syllabus on what pages out the book you are responsible for.
2. What information you need to know and where it is on those pages for those who can't bother - or aren't able - to read.
3. The teacher reviews orally only questions pertaining to that material.
4. The kids are given a written test; again only with those questions. Amazingly all of them do very well.

Next assignment.

Writing 'projects' are apparently considered stressful so most of the major assignments are group, err/gag 'team-building' exercises.

The last few weeks of school, the teachers review the material and have the kids take mock tests over and over.

It's like they're teaching a room full of parrots - none of these kids are capable of basic problem solving, or even applying what they've learned to anything other than the answers they were given.

At least in my eyes there are no winners... Administrators and teachers are being forced to participate or they are gone, and the kids get an education that gives them zero tools for their future.

/thinks SOL really stands for Sh*t Outta Luck...
2005-01-28 07:52:56 AM  
"First, God created idiots. That was just for practice. Then He created school boards." -Mark Twain
2005-01-28 07:53:40 AM  
As much as I, as the son of a teacher, think that NCLB is an absolutely horrible law, I don't think it says anything about schools not being able to hold competitions where there are winners or losers (ie, sports). I can't decide if:

* The school district is trying to make a political point about NCLB and using this to do it (like a joke sheet teachers have been passing around talking about changes to football for NCLB, like everyone wins, etc.)

* The school district was tired of running the spelling bee, and this was an easier excuse to kill it vs. "We don't feel like doing it any more"

* The school district is clueless enough to think that "No Child Left Behind" means that "Everything we do must make everyone a winner"
2005-01-28 07:53:57 AM  
What no sports either? thats super lame the best way for a child to build self esteem is though working towardsa a goal. If the goal is not accomplished not all of the self esteem is negated. Being on sports teams all though school, elementary through highschoool, helped me build self esteem. We didn't always win but we were a team, and supported each other as well as getting better, improving was a source of self esteem, not winning(although it did help). This no child left behind is so new age I'm surprized it doesn't involve using crystals to re-align the childs engery fields and re-orient their self esteem to the positive polarity.

/it's the green aura, the self esteem that is......
//the world sucks no wonder our children are turning into little monsters
2005-01-28 07:54:29 AM  
And what's with the crack about Lake Wobegone? The people up in northern MN would probably riot if you tried to take a traditional competition away and replace it with a self-esteem lesson.
2005-01-28 07:56:18 AM  
I'm just going to add one other comment about this (not that anyone cares, I'm sure).

You learn far more about yourself when you lose than when you win.
2005-01-28 07:57:00 AM  
Their right I lost a speling bee in the first round in sixth grade and it would have advursely affected my self esteem but my mom told me how speshul I was and what a grate speler I was and not to worry about it. But now I'm 30 years old and I can't get a job and I live with her and she still tells me not to worry how speshul I am. Thanks mom.
2005-01-28 07:59:45 AM  
Constantinople is a big word, can you spell it?
2005-01-28 08:01:42 AM  
When I was in fifth grade I could spell "Electroencephelograph." Then again, I was a nerd, and still am.
2005-01-28 08:02:33 AM  
There can be no evolution... social darwinism surrenders
2005-01-28 08:02:55 AM  
You are one hundred percent correct While in highschool we won two championships in football my first two years and then the thrid year we lost in the semi finals, like pitsburg just did hehe, and it is the game I remember most.
2005-01-28 08:04:32 AM  

Holy shiat! Never thought I'd see the day on fark for a Vonnegut reference that obscure...

Loved that story.
2005-01-28 08:06:01 AM  
The actual story, for the curious. Short and great.
2005-01-28 08:07:38 AM  
Interesting that they push a liberal agenda by blaming a conservative policy.
2005-01-28 08:07:56 AM  
This sounds like an Onion article to me. Are they f*cking serious? They'll have to do away with a valedictorian as well, since only one student can get that.

Harrison Bergeron, indeed.
2005-01-28 08:08:49 AM  
This is what happens when liberals make decisions for you and your kids. Never mind the fact that competition is what drives our economy and a competitive drive to succeed is key to reaching your goals. To keep from upsetting a child, they will
eliminate a spelling bee. Completely asinine.
2005-01-28 08:09:25 AM  
I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got a workshop to go to... on, of all things, NCLB mandates and how it will affect the teaching in my subject area.

If you think NCLB is helping kids, all it's doing is forcing teachers into a national curriculum. Good-bye individuality. Good-bye self-rule.

/Off to 6(!) hours with a paid consultant milking the system because the district has to do *something* to get those test scores up.

/One last thing. Just last week, an emotionally disturbed girl came into my class from another country, with poor skills and little English. Somehow, we're expected to get this girl to pass the language portion of the test in two years. Thank you, NCLB, and your arbitrary standards.
2005-01-28 08:10:53 AM  
I'm glad no child left behind allows every child to be left behind now. I think Bush and Congress desereve a round of applause for getting this thing through.
2005-01-28 08:12:42 AM  
Well, looks like the Handicapper General has been through Rhode Island.

That was the first thought I had.
2005-01-28 08:13:21 AM  
2005-01-28 08:13:47 AM  
"This is what happens when liberals make decisions for you and your kids."

Is Bush a liberal now? Anyway, I wonder what Armstrong Williams thinks about this.
2005-01-28 08:14:02 AM  
"Interesting that they push a liberal agenda"

I knew that clap trap would show up eventually. We all know that liberals hate education, right? It kinda waters down the "liberals control higher learning and indoctrinate college kids" conspiracy though.

2005-01-28 08:14:04 AM  
2005-01-28 08:07:38 AM The Vegan Republican
Interesting that they push a liberal agenda by blaming a conservative policy.

Interesting because it's a political statement... and a bad one at that. No liberal here is defending them, if you notice.
2005-01-28 08:16:55 AM  
The collective IQ of this country just dropped a few points

We are all the same! We are all the same! We are all the same!
2005-01-28 08:17:22 AM  
* The school district is trying to make a political point about NCLB and using this to do it (like a joke sheet teachers have been passing around talking about changes to football for NCLB, like everyone wins, etc.)

You good sir are a winner.

Personally I would love nothing better than to abolish the US department of education. Get the feds out of education.
2005-01-28 08:17:24 AM  
A family member of mine is currently taking her masters in education and administration. And they ovbiously have to do written work and they had the oppertunity to pick any topic (trust me I've been in masters courses where the topic was given to me which sucked) anyway she wanted to do a project in which rural school address the disparity between students when the show up for first grade preschool or primary (as it is called in canada). Some students can read others don't really know how to hold a book. And the EDUCATED professor said to her..."Maybe you should focus on getting the school ready for the child, istead of the child ready for school"....she nodded and changed her subject completely. Had it been me i would have slugged the guy on principal and for my children's sake....
2005-01-28 08:19:15 AM  
Welcome to Hell, everyone! Enjoy your stay!
2005-01-28 08:20:26 AM  
Sorry, but Bush didnt make this decision, a school board did. You are either uninformed or kidding yourself if you believe that promoting the underachieving or undeserving is a conservative agenda. Conservatism has always promoted hard work as the means to the ends not social promotions.
2005-01-28 08:21:52 AM  

In a generation, we'll be paying immigrant plumbers $500 per hour because nobody under the age of 40 will know how to replace a toilet or fix a broken seal.

So if your smart you will steer your children towards the trades. Our local vo-tech still has a strong trades curriculum. But I know of other vo-tech schools around that have pretty much dropped or cut way back on the trades.

Look at the schools that have eliminated wood and metal shop. Our high school still has them but I've been to 3 auctions in the last year at schools that took them out. I suppose I'm lucky in the fact that my parents taught my siblings and I to be self sufficient. My siblings in turn have taught their children the same things.

The NCLB act is just dumbing down the future generations. Get used to it people, you have a few choices. 1, don't have any children. 2, educate your children that there are a few winners in life and a lot of loser's and it's up to them make themselves winners. 3, ignore it and watch your children turn out dumber than a box of rocks.
2005-01-28 08:21:59 AM  
Oh fer christ's farking sake.

Yes people, let's leave ALL of our children completely unprepared for the real world. That way no child is left behind. Or rather, ALL of them are.

Gah. This is why we need to eliminate federal-government-controled education. There are just too many kids being pulled down by stupid policies.
2005-01-28 08:22:18 AM  
Thats pretty funny; lets leave them all behind.
2005-01-28 08:23:21 AM  
sullyman I agree with your stement that
"Conservatism has always promoted hard work as the means to the ends not social promotions."
being a conservative and all...but the point is this NCLB is a conservative initiative, and while the intent was not this type of thing the wording is ovbiously loose enough that nonsense like this can get tacked onto it. Maybe it should be reworded or something
2005-01-28 08:24:00 AM  
I'm no authority on the "No Child blah blah blah", but I'm fairly sure it wouldn't have consciously advocated such a stupid policy. Hopefully the dullards in that town read Bill Gates little screed about competition and real life at some point.
2005-01-28 08:26:01 AM  
Welcome to the retardation of america!! So I guess now we'll just set the bar so low that thier will be no challange and hence no Child can possibly be left behind unless they just drop dead at thier desk. I suppose that means we will be fazing out the gifted classes next right? This is stoopidest thing I've ever heard so far regarding Public Education.
2005-01-28 08:26:44 AM  

If you think NCLB is helping kids, all it's doing is forcing teachers into a national curriculum. Good-bye individuality. Good-bye self-rule.


How could you teach a subject well and not have your students pass a national standardized test? The tests are so flippin' easy that someone who could not pass would have trouble following the directions on a box of spaghetti.

Then again, I have been to enough teacher evaluations that I know exactly why there is so much resistance to standarized testing.

2005-01-28 08:27:32 AM  
Like a lot of policies, NCLB was not super well-thought out. Or funded.

If kids can't compete, then how will they ever deal with the fact that there's always someone smarter/richer/bigger above them and below them? Way to shield them from reality.
2005-01-28 08:30:16 AM  
Honestly When i was in highschool I was in Canada, and the province had provincially standardized tests and my teachers in chemistry and physics both said "normally i give bonus points for the final by doing a project for credit, but...the standardized tests are so easy you won't need them" and they were right.
2005-01-28 08:30:18 AM  
I meant to say, how will they ever deal with the fact that there's always someone smarter/richer/bigger above them and dumber/poorer/smaller below them. It's early. Can't think.
2005-01-28 08:31:04 AM  
Your right and thats my point. Who interpreted the NCLB to mean no spelling bees? I guarantee it wasnt a conservative school board.
2005-01-28 08:31:34 AM  
I didn't realize there was buggering in a spelling bee
2005-01-28 08:32:11 AM  
Separation of church and state is a pretty good idea, so why not a separation of state and education?

Hell, for that matter, we need a complete separation of state and economy as well.
2005-01-28 08:32:41 AM  
I have witnessed this first hand at my daughter's elementary school.

Too many resources are going to teach the children how to take a standardized test, instead of teaching children the three Rs.

As far as I see it, there is a percentage of students who will excel whatever the circumstances. Unfortunately, there are a percentage of students who will fail no matter what is done for them. The majority of resources should be spent on the children in the middle. They can go either way. With really good teaching they can make it.

Unfortunately they are left with the short end of the stick.

2005-01-28 08:33:20 AM  
This makes perfect sense. It's far easier to reduce the intelligence of the brightest kids than increase the intelligence of the less able. This move will ensure that all kids will be equally stupid, which is a fair result all round.


I heard recently that kids these days have unrealistic expectations and aren't prepared to work for things or save up to buy things they want. This is precisely because they're going through school without being exposed to competition or the idea that some people are better than others in different areas.

If nobody wins, everyone loses. Why the fark are we shielding kids from a healthy level of competition, and removing incentives to succeed?
2005-01-28 08:39:15 AM  
When these kids hit the workforce, Zoloft sales will soar
2005-01-28 08:40:10 AM  
The first state to declare independence from the British has now declared independence from reality. Though, when your state motto is "Hope" wtf do you expect.

"We can't discriminate against any child. Therefore we are now allowing all those that get a "D" or lower in Biology into Med School."

Good luck with that.
2005-01-28 08:40:24 AM  
This school board is probably pissed at Bush for No Child Left Behind (not that there's anything WRONG with being pissed at Bush for No Child Left Behind) so they make asshat decisions like this knowing that it will draw adverse publicity. No Child Left Behind is beyond stupid, and it's typical that an administration run by a mediocrity like Bush would come up with something that institutionalizes mediocrity.

There's an article in last week's Time Magazine about young adults post-college who seem unable to take the final steps to financial and social independence from their parents. And one of the pieces of advice to parents to help them avoid this scenario is to let their kids... FAIL... sometimes, when young, when they haven't earned something. Not in debilitating ways, but the valid point is: if a child never loses in competition and is never "left behind" , this child is not going to be prepared for adulthood. Most parents and educators understand this. You need a mix of setbacks and genuine successes overcoming setbacks to develop self-esteem.
2005-01-28 08:40:32 AM  

/Liberal 31337
2005-01-28 08:40:58 AM  
The really funny thing about all the schools discouraging trades is thats pretty much what's going to be left in 30 years. Manufacturing will be done by robots, IT jobs will be done overseas, the freaking fast food places will be automated. Its hard to make a robot plumber to diagnose a break in a pipe inside a wall, go in and fix it.

2005-01-28 08:42:57 AM  
Just another example of PC horseshiat that is prevalent in this day and time.
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