Karen Adams always enjoyed receiving her invitation. The WPRI-TV news anchorwoman and Lincoln resident looked forward to penciling in the school districtís spelling bee in her appointment calendar.
But thereís no note in her calendar this year. The Lincoln district has decided to eliminate this yearís spelling bee — a competition involving pupils in grades 4 through 8, with each school district winner advancing to the state competition and a chance to proceed to the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C.
Through the years, it had become a tradition for Adams to pronounce and define spelling words used in the bee.
“It was just fun,” she said last Monday from her office at the television studio.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Newman said the decision to scuttle the event was reached shortly after the January 2004 bee in a unanimous decision by herself and the districtís elementary school principals.
The administrators decided to eliminate the spelling bee, because they feel it runs afoul of the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
“No Child Left Behind says all kids must reach high standards,” Newman said. “Itís our responsibility to find as many ways as possible to accomplish this.”
The administrators agreed, Newman said, that a spelling bee doesnít meet the criteria of all children reaching high standards — because there can only be one winner, leaving all other students behind.