Lincoln Spelling Bee is Back

To dot an “i” and cross a “t”, the Lincol School System has reinstated the Spelling Bee that was once presumed to conflict with the No Child Left Behind Act.

School officials, who said last week Lincoln wouldn’t participate in the state spelling bee this year, were eating their words yesterday.
Lincoln’s four elementary schools and its middle school will hold school spelling bees this week and next week, and the winners will face off in a district-wide bee Feb. 17, the School Department announced yesterday.
“It’s something that a lot of people have an interest in doing, so we’re going to do it,” Schools Supt. John Tindall-Gibson said. . .
The decision against participating came after last year’s spelling bee when school principals gathered for a “debriefing.” They told Asst. Supt. Linda A. Newman they felt the spelling bee didn’t foster children’s self-esteem and conflicted with the goals of the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind education law because it didn’t allow all students to succeed. However, even the School Committee chairman didn’t know about the decision until newspapers and talk radio got wind of it last week.
Because three of the five principals who helped make last year’s decision have since retired, Newman and Tindall-Gibson spoke last week of reconsidering participation for next year. . .
Although Lincoln’s change of heart came just two days after the cancellation made the front page of the Providence Journal, the release said “thoughtful reconsideration” informed the reversal.
Thoughtful reconsideration, and a lot of input, it would seem. “Thank you for phone calls, in-person conversations, and e-mails regarding the district-wide spelling bee,” the School Department’s statement said. “We heard your concerns and respect your opinions.”

The things to take away: 1) The phone lines rang with protest so they reinstated 2) 3 of the 5 decision makers had retired. Any chance this was a parting shot against the NCLBA? Regardless, it’s good that it’s back.

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