About Texas Academic Decathlon
The United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) is a program that provides high school students an opportunity to experience the challenges of rigorous academic competition through participation in team activities. In addition, the Academic Decathlon involves members of the business/industry as active supporters of a program promoting academic excellence. Long term relationships, developed through joint participation, benefit the students and the community.
The Academic Decathlon program was initiated in California in 1968 by Orange County Academic Decathlon Association in cooperation with the Orange County Superintendent of Schools. Region contests were held until 1979 when California held the first statewide competition. In 1982, the competition became a national event and the USAD was formed. Texas became a USAD member in 1984 and won the national championship in Los Angeles with a team from J.J.Pearce High School, Richardson Independent School District. Pearce repeated as champions for the next two years. In the 16 years, Texas has participated in the competition, its teams have won 11 national championships, placed second six times and third four times.
Region and state contests are held for schools categorized as large, medium and small. Based on a point system, the highest scoring team represents the state at the national USAD competition. All members of the winning team receive scholarships.
The Academic Decathlon is designed to include students of three academic levels. Each nine-member team consists of three "A" students, three "B" students and three "C" students, perhaps never before motivated, perform the best. The Academic Decathlon is the only competition to award "C" students scholarships!
Texas Academic Decathlon claims 11 national championship titles, six second-place honors and four third-place awards and one fifth-place in 22 years of competition at the Unitied States Academic Decathlon meets. 2004 was a history-making year. A medium school represented Texas at the USAD national competition.