Saturday, November 24, 2012

California among few states clinging to pen as cursive writing is erased from curriculum

It was 1987. We had just enrolled our son into a very small Christian-run private school.  We're talking Independent Baptist private school.  It's hard to get more right wing conservative than that.  The principal stood before the parents to discuss the new school year.  He methodically went over the curricula and what was expected of us a parents.  Then he made a statement that was the most prescient thing I have ever heard in my life:

Cursive writing was going away.

As we were all headed into the Digital Age and all writing would be on the computer keyboard, there was no need to learn cursive writing anymore.  Here was a man with amazingly clear-headed thinking.  Even though this was breathed 25 years ago, I never forgot it because it reflected a monumental amount of forward thinking.  Because, here we are doing just that.  Getting rid of cursive writing.  And CA is behind the times.

The state's posture on penmanship is not likely to undercut its place at the leading edge of technology, but it has teachers and students divided over the value of learning flowing script and looping signatures in an age of touchpads and mobile devices.

Some see it as a waste of time, an anachronism in a digitized society where even signatures are electronic, but others see it as necessary so kids can hone fine motor skills, reinforce literacy and develop their own unique stamp of identity.
Yeah, whatever.   I just know my grades in penmanship were always mediocre.  About the only thing that will be missed are the swarthy signatures I and many people employ.  Maybe that's the "unique stamp of identity" they're talking about.

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