Even Written in Cursive, What the NCGA is Trying to Do With Public Education is Bad

You may not recall, but back in 2013, there was a major push in the NCGA to require that schools teach cursive writing.

From the erudite Lindsay Wagner, who worked for NC Policy Watch then:

As reported in March, the House Education Committee is considering HB 146, Back to Basics, which would mandate mastery of cursive writing by fifth grade and memorization of multiplication tables. House members supported the bill, introduced by Reps. Hurley, Warren and Shepherd, with few reservations. The Senate will take up the bill on Wednesday.

When Rep. Hurley introduced the bill, her stated justification to mandate cursive writing instruction included the claim  that PET scans show that your whole brain works when you’re doing cursive, but that “only half” of your brain works when you are doing manuscript, and that your brain “doesn’t work” when you are keyboarding.

A handwriting instructor, Kate Gladstone, became curious as to what kind of research supported Rep. Hurley’s claim. Upon inquiring with Hurley’s office, legislative assistant Deborah Holder sent Gladstone this article, MJ12 Berninger_NAESP Article_May2012 — which, in fact, does not support Hurley’s claims and even notes possible benefits to keyboard instruction in early grades.

Hurley mentioned during her introduction of the bill that ALEC supplied her with background information with regard to cursive writing instruction (http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2013/04/24/cursive-writing-bill-linked-to-zaner-bloser/).

Well, that push it back. From Will Doran of the News & Observer:

North Carolina schools could look and operate differently next year if the state Legislature eventually passes a handful of bills that made it out of a key committee on Tuesday.

One of the bills that advanced would require every public school in the state to prominently display signs containing the phrases “In God We Trust” and “To Be, Rather Than To Seem.”

In God We Trust is the national motto, and To Be, Rather Than To Seem is the English translation of the state motto, which is Esse Quam Videri.

Another bill would check to make sure that schools are still teaching cursive writing, even though it’s not part of the new Common Core curriculum the state adopted several years ago. It would also automatically send elementary school students with high test scores into advanced math classes.

Finally, a third bill would expand the controversial Innovative School District program, in which the control of low-performing schools is taken away from local school boards and handed over to charter school operators. The bill would also allow school districts to hire the spouses of their superintendents, which critics said could lead to ethical problems (http://amp.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article212593479.html?__twitter_impression=true).

So, why not see if writing it in cursive will make it more appealing for public schools. For that matter maybe talk about all of the bills in this surreptitious session of the NCGA in cursive to see if it legitimizes them.

cursive

Didn’t seem to work.

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