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Education

Texans Capture Academic Decathlon

By Robert Rothman — April 16, 1986 1 min read

The students of J.J. Pearce High School of Richardson, Tex., proved that they are becoming the New York Yankees of the academic world by winning the U.S. Academic Decathlon for the third year in a row.

And. in a repeat of last year’s finish, Beverly Hills High School of Beverly Hills, Calif., finished second, and Mentor High School of Mentor, Ohio. placed third.

The fifth annual decathlon, held in Los Angeles, pitted winners of 41 state contests in a daylong competition, testing six-person teams of high-school students in economics, fine arts, language and literature, science, social science, and mathematics. In addition, each student wrote an essay, was interviewed by judges, and presented a speech.

For the climactic event, the so-called “Super Quiz,” students answered questions in an auditorium before cheering fans.

This year’s quiz topic was “immigration to the United States,” chosen to commemorate the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.

Teams consist of two A students, two B students, and two C students. Each member of the winning team received a gold medal; the second-place and third-place team members won silver and bronze medals, respectively. Winners of specific competitions also won medals.

The competition, sponsored by World Book Inc., began in 1968 in Orange County, Calif., and spread to the rest of the state by 1979. It became a national competition in 1982.

A version of this article appeared in the April 16, 1986 edition of Education Week

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