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Public comment sought on school rule changes, from cursive instruction to PE as grad requirement

The Idaho State Board of Education is taking public comments on six proposed rule changes, on everything from requiring Idaho school kids to get cursive writing instruction to adding two credits of PE as a high school graduation requirement. Idaho Education News has a rundown here on the rule changes and how to comment; there’s a public hearing set for Oct. 8, and the state board is scheduled to consider the rules at its November meeting. Comments will be accepted through the end of October.

All six rule changes were proposed by state schools Superintendent Tom Luna; you can read his office’s summary here of the changes and public comment opportunities. In addition to cursive and PE, the rules address ISAT testing, an adjustment to math and science requirements, teacher education and endorsements, and an in-service math training requirement for teachers.

This is cursive, signing off

As a left-hander, I was often scolded by my elementary school teachers to hold my hand so that my cursive letters would slant correctly. Each report card came home with “N” for my handwriting grade (N= Needs Improvement).

 For many of today's elementary school students, the handwriting assessment is replaced with “keyboarding,” a function that allows both hands to work easily towards a readable outcome. Many states do not mandate that cursive writing be taught.   

At the least, our children will lose their unique signatures and perhaps tragically not be able to decipher grandparents' letters or journals mom wrote in college. And one's need for spelling skills may disappear, too, with Spell Check and texting shorthand. What will the future hold?  IDK.

Is Cursive Going Way Of Dinosaur?

What these kids are learning seems familiar to most of us; but, they're learning something fewer and fewer kids across the country will ever learn. Districts across the country are making the switch from handwriting lessons to keyboarding classes, leaving cursive in the dust. Spokane Public Schools and Central Valley Schools still have cursive writing in their curricula, beginning in the 2nd grade. But, a move to change that in districts across the country has some teachers and parents concerned/Marissa Luck, KXLY. More here.

Question: Should schools still teach children cursive? And/or: Do you have decent handwriting?

Cursive Writing On Endangered List

The loops and curls of cursive handwriting have all but vanished from college essay exam blue books. On rare occasions when college students write by hand, nearly all of them use what educators call manuscript form, which is to say, they print. Cursive writing is endangered and may near extinction in another generation, educators say. With the rise of word processing, texting and twittering, young people have fewer needs to write by hand. Cursive is on its way to becoming an artifact for calligraphers/Bill Graves, Oregonian. More here.

DFO: Bill Graves was a reporter for the Coeur d’Alene Press in the late 1970s early 1980s when SR columnist Doug Clark was managing editor.

Question: Do you have good handwriting? And/or: Do you regret that cursive is going the way of the dinosaur among college students?