Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

January 8, 2013

Cursive still hanging on

THE ISSUE: Legislation mandating instruction in cursive writing.

OUR VIEW: Yet another law dictating what teachers should teach is neither needed nor probably welcomed.

For the older folks among us, a memo from state education officials in the spring of 2011 that cursive writing would no longer be a part of the required curriculum came as a bit of a shock.

We remember making entire rows of letters and being judged on whether we made the loops in precisely the right way. Learning the proper way to make a capital “A” and a small “t” were simply a part of growing up.

How could schools suddenly stop offering that instruction? What would become of a future generation of adults unable to sign their own names?

Lawmakers continue to ask the same questions. As they did last year, they’ll debate this legislative session whether to require that schools teach handwriting.

Fortunately for the traditionalists among us, Howard County school administrators told us in July 2011 they have no plans to abandon the lessons in cursive writing. Handwriting, as well as keyboarding anyway, will remain a part of the third-grade curriculum at Western.

“I just feel it’s a skill you need throughout your life,” then-Western Intermediate School principal Heather Hendrich told us.

John Bevan, superintendent of Southeastern School Corp. in nearby Walton, believed the state’s curriculum change concerning cursive writing was being driven by a daily 90-minute reading block requirement for kindergarten through third grade.

“The state is making a number of decisions right now that I don’t necessarily think are wise, but that is their privilege,” he said in 2011. “We will try to make do the best we can.”

Bevan said a decision to stop teaching cursive would extend beyond the ability of students to sign their names. If students don’t learn cursive, he said, they won’t be able to read historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution.

“We can’t do everything on computers and smartphones,” he said. “I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.”

And so, for now anyway, students in Kokomo area school corporations will continue to learn how to make the proper loop on a capital “L.”

School officials in other districts likely have similar opinions on handwriting.

Of course, now that such instruction is no longer part of the required curriculum, we can guess that the time spent on it will continue to decline.

But yet another law dictating what teachers should teach is neither needed nor probably welcomed.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Smoking ordinance misguided As a subscriber to the printed edition of the Kokomo Tribune, and a non-smoker, I was very interested upon seeing a page one article in the Aug. 13 edition titled “City-wide ban on smoking revealed.” After reading the article, my interest was peaked

    August 22, 2014

  • Why government openness matters Failing to share information makes us weaker. It enfeebles congressional oversight, which is a cornerstone of representative democracy and which, when aggressively carried out by fully informed legislators, can strengthen policy-making. One of the fu

    August 22, 2014

  • Aug. 22: Letters to the Editor Rokita wrong on GMOsThe Aug. 13 Tribune article about Rokita’s “Town Hall Meeting” left out a key issue — Rokita’s co-sponsorship of HR4432. This bill would ban mandatory labeling of currently genetically modified foods and prohibit any state from en

    August 22, 2014

  • Use the law to save lives As college students head back to campus, it’s a good time to remind them of the Indiana Lifeline Law.When the General Assembly passed the law two years ago, the goal was to encourage minors to call for help by giving them immunity from being prosecut

    August 22, 2014

  • It's time to deal with crisis For five and a half years, the president has gone around Congress to ignore, defy and alter laws in a variety of areas, from Obamacare implementation to issuing excessive new labor and environmental rules to infringing on religious freedom. It is no

    August 21, 2014

  • Nation must be united On Aug. 9, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, by a police officer. Since that time, protestors and unrest have filled the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, a town near St. Louis.A similar scenario

    August 21, 2014

  • John understands fight against mental illness Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide.Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a major league baseball pitch

    August 21, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor Former Kokomoan on FergusonI was a resident of Kokomo from 1992 to 2008. Because of the housing crisis, my wife and I relocated to the St. Louis, Missouri area, which is close to where I grew up. With the eyes of the world focused upon the St. Louis

    August 21, 2014

  • OPN - KT082014 - king What Fergusonsays about us Aug. 9 is a day that Americans lost sight of themselves. It is the day Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black teenager of Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. That evening, and for all but o

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the editor Congrats on wind farm defeat Congratulations to the citizens of Kokomo and Howard County! Your officials have done you a great favor by stopping any further considerations for construction of industrial wind turbines in your area. Now, if the fede

    August 20, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Marathon Suspect's Friend Pleads Guilty Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll