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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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19292 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jan 2005 at 7:07 AM (17 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

514 Comments     (+0 »)

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2005-01-27 8:55:07 PM  
At least our children is learning.
2005-01-27 9:07:19 PM  
This says that you can have no one smarter then the rest? Everyone must be a winner or no one, thats just wrong. There will ALWAYS be someone smarter then you and ,of course, there will be those not as smart as you. Join the real world.
2005-01-27 9:09:04 PM  
Man, I was always motivated in school by the people smarter than me. This whole 'you're a winner! let's celebrate your mediocrity!' thing just encourages kids not to try very hard.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2005-01-27 9:09:33 PM  
"You have to build positive self-esteem for all kids, so they believe they're all winners"

How about you move to Lake Wobegon where you belong and leave the rest of us free of Harrison Bergeron-style equality.
2005-01-27 9:15:02 PM  
The pussification of America continues. I was a kid once. I lost a spelling bee or two or more. I got drilled during dodge ball. It got me ready for the sucking that is real life.
2005-01-27 9:27:20 PM  
There ain't nothing pussified about Rhody, babe.
2005-01-27 9:29:13 PM  
Ha Ha Lincoln. . .It is a sorry excuse for a town. Woonsocket on the other hand. . .
2005-01-27 9:43:51 PM  
It's funny on the one hand, but this is really the reason why the US is going to quickly fall behind the rest of the world in research and technology... in a stupid effort to make all the stupid kids feel intelligent, they're not only making it more difficult for the actually bright kids to succeed, but also making them all want to get out of this stupid country and go somewhere they feel appreciated
2005-01-27 9:59:00 PM  
So let me get this straight, you people are saying the No Child Left Behind act was stupid?
2005-01-27 10:01:08 PM  
Well, looks like the Handicapper General has been through Rhode Island.
2005-01-27 10:40:56 PM  
I hate my state....and i think you are very right gdiguy
2005-01-27 11:57:53 PM  
As a child left behind, let me say...

/got nothin
2005-01-28 12:07:55 AM  
No doubt Bush slipped that in so his future relatives can further fark up America.

You know, because of his lesser intelligence and complete lack of eloquence in addition to retarded foreign policy and crooked economic decisions.

(That's why I tied him to TFA because someone like him will have a direct interest in this particular section of the act)

trolling, deconstructed.
2005-01-28 12:49:17 AM  
"My heart broke every time a kid missed," she said. "I really enjoyed it."


/yes, out of context, but still marginally funny
2005-01-28 5:11:21 AM  
Reminds me of that Brian Regan joke...

"I always admired that guy that ditched out of the spelling bee right away. He knew he wasn't going to win, so why bother trying? Cat? K-A-T ... i'm outta here!"
2005-01-28 5:53:36 AM  
"Its about one kid winning, several making it to the top and leaving all others behind. Thats contrary to No Child Left Behind,"

But at least it is consistent with real life. These kids are going to be sorely disappointed when they leave school and realise they're in a rat-race that no-one prepared them for.
2005-01-28 7:13:16 AM  
Well, why not? If we can have a mediocre President, why not let everyone mediocre succeed?

/got nothin'
2005-01-28 7:14:39 AM  
Wow... seriously, I'm speechless. While we're at it, let's just forget about grades, give all the kids A's, and then when they grow up, we can give them jobs magically created by our economy where they can all make the same amount of money doing nothin...
2005-01-28 7:14:51 AM  
Yes, binnster, but at least they will all be the pretty-much same courtesy of NCLB.
2005-01-28 7:15:34 AM  
(continuing cscx's quote)

"Pff, I know there are two T's!"

/neat, someone beat me to it!
2005-01-28 7:15:41 AM  
WTF? Why are some educators intent on shielding kids from the fact that life is not fair, and that there are winners and losers? WTF?
2005-01-28 7:16:17 AM  

you beat me to it. I found that quote pretty funny 2
2005-01-28 7:16:42 AM  
If the prezident of the United States cant spel gud, why shuld the rest of the citizenz?
2005-01-28 7:17:27 AM  

So they can hold their heads high and shout:

Oh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the Magical Man from Happy-Land, in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane!
2005-01-28 7:18:45 AM  
Now there's no more Oak oppression
'Cause they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.
2005-01-28 7:18:58 AM  
Oh, and there is nothing in NCLB that prohibits this. I strongly suspect that the district administration is trying to make a point, however badly, about NCLB. Many of us in education have some problems with it, but this is not the way to address them.
2005-01-28 7:19:08 AM  
Send your kid to a private school. Sure you still have to pay for government schools, but that's only fair. Right? ...right?
2005-01-28 7:20:09 AM  
2005-01-28 07:15:41 AM zymurgist

WTF? Why are some educators intent on shielding kids from the fact that life is not fair, and that there are winners and losers? WTF?

You are so right. Every day when I go into my classroom, I tell the little bastards how stupid and useless they are. I also suggest they kill themselves. After all, why should I tell them anything but the truth?

/Yes, sarcasm
2005-01-28 7:20:17 AM  
"My heart broke every time a kid missed," she said. "I really enjoyed it."

You Thaditht!

2005-01-28 7:21:24 AM  

Stooped. Thank you.
2005-01-28 7:22:51 AM  
Wait, so Rhode Island isn't actually an island?

Tricky bastards...
2005-01-28 7:23:25 AM  
at least it's not my town
2005-01-28 7:23:28 AM  

Please note that I said some educators.
2005-01-28 7:24:06 AM  
I'd agree this is asinine, but hey -- it's a spelling bee. Good riddance to a competition that's unfair by design. If you want to know who the good spellers are, give 'em all a test with everyone having to spell the same words.

/won several, knew back then that they were stupid
2005-01-28 7:24:06 AM  
Boggle, boggle, boggle.
Bee, Bee, Bee
flying 'round the tree
Nothing left to oggle....
2005-01-28 7:27:25 AM  
Where does this put stuff like school sports events?
2005-01-28 7:29:55 AM  
/initiate mantra: 'promised myself I wouldn't rant'

I was never the sharpest pencil in the pile, but I hated to get beat; especially if I 'beat myself' by making a stupid mistake. That is/was my primary motivator in life and it was my determination to focus on attention to detail - a vital lesson learned through competition - that made me an excellent military analyst, and later a pretty darn good computer/network administrator.

/Not patting myself on the back. Honest.

I swear to God, NCLB is an insidious plot to turn out an entire generation of inept, mid-level managers and kids with degrees who are virtually unemployable except as cashiers, and fry jockies. All of whom will be content to shop/work for their Walmart overlords.
2005-01-28 7:32:09 AM  
I really am not looking forward to the day when my daughter starts school. I know I'm gonna be going some rounds with the school officials, I just know it. If my daughter is anything like how I was back then, she's gonna see right through all the school administration bullshiat, and then hilarity will not ensue. She's got a mind of her own, and that usually doesn't bode well in a classroom environment. It's gonna be my job to convince her she just needs to ride this whole school thing out, do your best and then get into the real world as fast as you can. As long as I can accomplish that, I will feel much better about her future. If I can teach her how to use the system to her advantage instead of just fighting it, I think she'll be Ok.

I thought about home schooling briefly, but those kids usually turn out weird. Most home school parents are religious nuts or hippies, anyway.
2005-01-28 7:33:03 AM  
Why not have the spelling bee and then let the kids that lose move on to the next round also. Then eventually the whole district goes to the national. This will prepare the kids for real life where some people work hard & do good & pick up the slack for the rest of the team.

/based on the socially retarded kids that usually win the national spelling bee, maybe cancelling them is a good idea
2005-01-28 7:34:27 AM  
No Child Left Behind = Intellectual Communism?
2005-01-28 7:35:39 AM  
2005-01-28 07:23:28 AM zymurgist

Please note that I said some educators.

I know... but by saying "some", you're still saying that it's okay for some teachers to say things along those lines. I know you didn't mean it that way, and perhaps was a bit too reactionary, but most people become teachers because we do care about children and how they learn.

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?
2005-01-28 7:36:06 AM  
I can't find it right now, but there was a great comic that my teacher had behind his desk, it was of a school of fish, with the teacher telling three fast one's to slow so they could all swim at the same pace. However, the other fish in the picture (ie the slower ones) we're being eaten by a shark.

Somehow it just strikes me as odd how we no longer value excellence.

The Incredibles said it best
"If everyone is super, than no one is."

And let's not forget the other classic line: "It's not a graduation. He's moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade. It's psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity."
2005-01-28 7:36:42 AM  
Hey, I was probably one of the best spellers in the school, but I got out on my first word (hospital) because I figured it was too easy to mess up and didn't pay attention to the letters coming out of me. I didn't mind, though. I didn't cry or attempt suicide or anything like that. This was public school, nobody at all was going to cry because they lost the spelling bee. If anything, we would mourn the future loss of the poor guy who won, since he was most likely going to get a good beatin' in the locker room for swinging the grade curve too far in the other direction. Ah well, I do miss the old public school days of middle school. Whoop, um .. didn't say that last sentence out loud, did I? No, I typed it? Phew.
[add comment]...
2005-01-28 7:37:10 AM  
zappaisfrank: I hear you, man. My daughter is almost 3, and I'm thinking the same thing you are.
2005-01-28 7:43:16 AM  
This is just a political-incited LIE by the school admin.

NCLB is about minimum standards, not eliminating competition.
2005-01-28 7:44:03 AM  
2005-01-28 07:29:55 AM Tired_of_the_BS

You have hit the nail on the head. In the high school in my city, we have no meaningful programs to train plumbers, carpenters, masons, steelworkers, etc... nothing. We've pretty much got them all studying quadratic equations and on the use of similes. NCLB pretty much forces cuccicula on schools via testing mandates; all children must know how to calculate the area of a sphere because it's on the friggin' test, so advanced math becomes a part of the mandatory school program.

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.
2005-01-28 7:44:22 AM  
"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."

A part of me died when I read that. Sometimes you need to let stupid kids know that they are stupid. The crafty ones study more and get better grades, and the ones doomed to stupidity do nothing about it and stay that way. We need people to clean the floors once the execs leave the office, so they will have their place in society.

Did these people consider that they may be dumbing down their smart kids?
2005-01-28 7:45:44 AM  
2005-01-28 07:43:16 AM A Day Older than Yesterday
This is just a political-incited LIE by the school admin.
NCLB is about minimum standards, not eliminating competition.

Clever use of all capitals in the word 'lie.' Everyone knew this already, but your profound insight has hammered the point home for me.
2005-01-28 7:46:43 AM  

I tend to see issues like this one as symptomatic of a trend that I find troubling... that is, the idea that self-esteem comes from having the same results as the rest of the group, and not from one's personal achievement (i.e., from within oneself).

That said, your point on having winners vs. losers in a classroom rather than on a soccer field is well taken.
2005-01-28 7:50:28 AM  
A spelling bee, she continued, is about "some kids being winners, some kids being losers."

Yeah, life is like that. Teaching children that nobody should lose doesn't accomplish anything.
Teaching children that they win some and lose some and to learn from their losses seems to me to be a far more productive way of teaching a child how life works.

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