Betsy is a spelling bee fan, because it “teaches children the value of setting a goal and working to achieve it. . . . If they lose, they learn that life doesn’t end even if they don’t do as well as they had hoped.”
Her county canceled the spelling bee several years ago.
They gave several reasons, all asinine. One reason was that spelling was an archaic skill that, in the age of computers and spellcheckers, was just out of date. Students shouldn’t be spending time trying to memorize all these useless words like Ursprache. The other reason was that it was too damaging to the kids to have all of these students compete and so many end up losers because only one child could be crowned the winner. Of course, they would never cancel a sporting competition just because some kids might actually lose the competition, just an academic contest.
I used to think the self-esteem movement was a harmless fad. Actually, it’s done a great deal of harm.