Editorials

A holiday gift to all the scholars of Placer County

Manpreet Dhaliwal of Pleasant Grove High School smiles after answering a question during the SuperQuiz showdown of the "Superbowl of Smarts" academic decathlon, held at Inderkum High School in 2011.
Manpreet Dhaliwal of Pleasant Grove High School smiles after answering a question during the SuperQuiz showdown of the "Superbowl of Smarts" academic decathlon, held at Inderkum High School in 2011. sabeephotos@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Office of Education just earned an eternal place on Santa’s “nice” list by coming to the rescue of students from Placer County who saw their dreams of academic decathlon greatness vanish like the presents from Whoville on Christmas Eve.

Earlier this month, the Placer County Office of Education said it was canceling its annual competition scheduled for Feb. 7 – not to be a Grinch, but for lack of interest. Only two schools in the county signed up teams to compete by the deadline.

It was a shame to see the demise of one of the few competitions that rewards students for using their wits. Academic decathlons ought to be considered as important as sports contests, as they offer challenges and glory for those kids who are more likely to grow up to own a sports team than to play on one. They rarely are, however.

But at least this year the scholars of Placer County won’t be left home alone, thanks to Sacramento County schools, which will host the teams from the neighboring county. Three cheers for their angel, Sacramento County schools chief David Gordon, who ended this nightmare before Christmas.

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