The Baltimore Sun reports:
“I am appalled that a graduate of high school in this county couldn’t read a note I wrote,” Jim Hudson of Aberdeen told members of the Harford County Board of Education at their meeting July 17. “You are on purpose graduated students who are illiterate.”
A couple weeks earlier, Hudson told the board members, he had given a note to a young woman who graduated this year from Fallston High School. She looked at the note, written in cursive, and told him she would read it later. She didn’t read it then because she was struggling with it, he said.
Common Core, unfortunately, exacerbated the neglect of teaching cursive since its English language arts standards make no mention of them. (Update: I’ll elaborate on this since I was accused on my Facebook page for not being clear. Teaching cursive was already in decline, Common Core did not cause that. Cursive was not part of Common Core’s ELA standards. Since they were not included in the standards, Common Core-aligned assessments do not test them, and since they are not assessed they are not a priority. This really isn’t rocket science, and this is not a new complaint – or the first time I’ve written about cursive. Much of this particular problem goes back to No Child Left Behind. So no, Common Core did not start it, but it didn’t help either, and with the focus being placed on what the standards do include it did exasperate the problem. Schools that offer Common Core offer it in spite of the standards, not because of them. 2nd Update: Exasperate should have read exacerbate, sorry about exasperating those of you who thought using that word exacerbated problems you saw with my argument.)
It isn’t a 21st-century skill because how can we expect students to be still able to read hand writing, after all, when everyone is using smart phones and tablets?
I’m sure there would NEVER be a circumstance where a student would need to know such an antiquated skill.
With the Common Core State Standards, our nation will graduate more students who, when it comes to cursive, are functionally illiterate.