Last month we reported that a Rhode Island school district had cancelled its annual spelling bee on the dubious grounds that it violated NCLB. Well, we're happy to report that the district bowed to public pressure and held the competition, but not without some changes. Still terrified about what the bee would do to students' self esteem (as the bee, of course, is about "some kids being winners, some kids being losers"), the district awarded every student a certificate of participation. Did Johnny spell apple with a Q? No problem - everyone is a winner! Sarah McGill correctly spelled "vegetarian" to advance to the state finals. No word yet on how traumatized her peers are after their defeat.

"Spelling bees gain popularity nationwide," by Brooke Donald, Associated Press, March 15, 2005

"The spirit of competition," by Elizabeth Gudrais, The Providence Journal, February 17, 2005

"Cancelled spelling bee reinstated," World Net Daily, February 2, 2005


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