Duke University is going to sponsor the local spelling bee for this region of North Carolina. I'm very happy to see this since we haven't had a regional spelling bee for over a decade when the school district decided to do away with spelling bees since they thought the bees put too much pressure on the children and celebrated an unnecessary skill in these days of spellchecks. I used to direct the spelling bee at my middle school and was thrilled to see kids studying lists to compete in the school competition. I was furious when the district did away with the competitions for their fatuous reasons. A decade later, I see how spelling skills among even the brightest students have greatly deteriorated.
Just because their computers can run spellcheck doesn't mean that it is unnecessary for students to know how to spell. So cheers to Duke for bringing back the spelling bee to this area of North Carolina. May this be the rebirth of elementary and middle school teachers actually teaching kids how to spell.