Monday, July 4, 2011

Is Cursive Writing Unnecessary?

By Kate Collins

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be from Indiana. Take, for instance, our Supreme Court’s decision to ignore the Constitutional amendment that says citizens have the right to peaceably resist forceful police entry into their homes. Seriously!

Now the brilliant minds at the Indiana Department of Education have decided that cursive writing can be dispensed with. They said it’s a big waste of time when teachers need to devote their days to teaching to the tests, i.e., the ISTEPS.

Wait. What? Teach TO the tests? Isn’t that bass ackwards?

Keyboarding skills are more important anyway, the Powers That Be said.

I used to teach third grade and remember how eager my students were to learn how to “write like an adult.” It was a right of passage. Shouldn’t there be room for both cursive instruction and keyboarding skills, which most kids have learned way before third grade anyway? What first grader doesn’t know how to use a laptop or text?

Many historical documents are written in lovely script writing. Will they now have to be transferred into print so the next generation can read them? What’s next? Dispensing with math tables? I mean, why learn how to multiply when any number of computer devices can do it for you? Why learn history? If you need to know something that happened in, say, 1776, on July 4th, Google it.

Do you agree? Or do you think cursive should go?

Happy Fourth!