Cafe 227

Friday, September 01, 2006

Georgia On My Mind

As a former educator in the state of Georgia and as one who still has close family ties to the Peach State, I try to follow its local news with some frequency.

This week has brought some interesting news, particularly in the education department.

First, the new SAT has "lifted" Georgia's average score ranking all the way from 49th in the U.S. to FORTY-SIXTH!!!(Conor and Johnny, GA ranked above PA, by the way.)

Second, Morehouse (Atlanta's elite college for African-American males) has plummeted in the rankings for traditionally Black colleges because they're not doing so well in that pesky category of "graduation percentage."

Now I saved the best for last...

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Discover Mills Mall in Lawrenceville recently held a Spelling Bee for home-schooled children.

Now for those of you who watch the national finals on ESPN or saw Spellbound or just enjoy watching kids falter and fail, you know that the majority of the best spellers in the U.S. are home-schooled. They tend to be the children of hard-working immigrants who see a value in education that, sadly, many of us take for granted. They amaze us by knowing how to spell words we will probably never hear again and which seem to break every linguistic rule in the book.

Not in Georgia, friends.

No, the winning word in one division was "mail."

You read that right... M-A-I-L.

Like this:

I assume that the tricksters running the Bee were just hooooping that little Rachel Gheorgies wouldn't think to ask for a definition and might spell "M-A-L-E," but she saw right through them and took home the title.

Now, some of you may say that I'm being too harsh... after all, this is the 5-8 year old division! So, as a test case, I asked my 6 year old nephew who is in the PUBLIC (is that a dirty word in the home school community?) school system in the City of Atlanta if he knew how to spell "mail." He laughed and spelled both forms correctly.

Oh, the winning word in the 9-12 year old division?



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