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Is Cursive Dead? New Article 28 June 2013

cursive education

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49 replies to this topic

#1 Drone

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:38

What the heck is going on in America?...

"Is Cursive Writing Dead?"

Read article dated 28 June 2013 here:

http://www.livescien...ve-writing.html

Excerpting:

A single sentence, uttered in the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin, has catapulted an issue into the national spotlight. When asked if she could read a letter in court, witness Rachel Jeantel, her head bowed, murmured with embarrassment, "I don't read cursive," ABC News reports.

 

and...

"Cursive should be allowed to die. In fact, it's already dying, despite having been taught for decades," Morgan Polikoff, assistant professor of education at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education, told The New York Times.
 

 



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#2 Paul80

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:51

Sadly I suspect this is all down to the lazy ways of modern teaching techniques.  Gone are the days when teachers actually spent any time with their students actually teaching, now its all down to lesson plans and paperwork. With giving the odd hound out to their students with their aims and objectives for that lesson and little else.  Sadly today's students are no longer taught the length and breadth of a subject, they are now taught to pass an exam and very little else.

 

this is why counties that still teach the old way are pulling ahead of the western world as far as education is concerned.

 

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#3 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 13:48

Morgan Polikoff is an idiot, for me a person who can't read and write cursive is a person who got a bad teacher or probably a bad penmanship. The excuse I don't read cursive is just too easy, in my country France, most of the people write cursive, so if one would have said that in a criminal case, it would have made matters just worse. 


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#4 Vendome

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 14:05

What the heck is going on in America?...

"Is Cursive Writing Dead?"

Read article dated 28 June 2013 here:

http://www.livescien...ve-writing.html

Excerpting:

A single sentence, uttered in the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin, has catapulted an issue into the national spotlight. When asked if she could read a letter in court, witness Rachel Jeantel, her head bowed, murmured with embarrassment, "I don't read cursive," ABC News reports.

 

 

 

What a Numpty!


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#5 RMN

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 14:07

Georges, alas in the USA this is a reality among many poor kids. Remember the person saying this in Court was barely of legal age.
 
 
See also this current topic elsewhere on FPN
 
http://www.fountainp...gn-their-names/
 
 
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Edited by RMN, 30 June 2013 - 14:08.

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#6 GeneralSynopsis

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 14:50

Georges, alas in the USA this is a reality among many poor kids. Remember the person saying this in Court was barely of legal age.
 
 
See also this current topic elsewhere on FPN
 
http://www.fountainp...gn-their-names/
 
 
D.ick

I'm curious, if you have read the report of the witnesses testimony why do you choose to take that utterance at face value?

 

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#7 welch

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 15:49

Not an issue of poor kids. Cursive is not taught in the US. Pencil/pen and paper are used for quick notes but not for serious writing: that is the assumption. Kids are taught "keyboarding", and they learn to "thumb" text messages on their hand-held electronics, which combine phone plus music plus video plus note-taker. 

 

Not good...maybe will pass, but here now. 

 

People in the computer industry have tried to replace pencil and paper for more than 30 years. People have reflected on the consequences: sloppy spelling (ah, spellcheck), sloppy grammar (put a grammar-checking inside MS Word), extra words in sentences (add a style-checker). 

 

The education-teachers are conceding to what they've been told is reality.


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#8 Fabienne

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 16:29

This might have something to do with how much teachers are paid. 



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#9 Mickey

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 16:44

This might have something to do with how much teachers are paid. 

 

Doubtful. In terms of relative (and absolute) compensation, today's teacher is paid vastly better than my mother and grandmother (both teachers) were, yet it's fairly clear that the teacher of 3 or 4 decades ago were markedly more competent than the present crop. (Yes, there are/were exceptions.) While we're about it, we might as well dispense with the multilingual canard, as well. The tongue spoken in the homes of my mom's first class included Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. (My mother's grandfather spoke French.) Along with one other teacher, my mother taught K-9 in one classroom. She also drove the bus. The difference was and is that for some teaching is a calling, for others simply a job.


The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#10 fiberdrunk

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 16:58

The new federal Common Core standards that were begun in fall 2012 do not include the teaching of cursive writing.  So this will become worse, not better.  Do a child a favor and teach them how to write in cursive!


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#11 Mickey

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 17:03

The quotation from the article pasted below, an agglutination of ill-informed opinions, is typical of the blather expounded by Polikoff and his ilk. He assumes that the loss of these skills is a positive good.

 

"As we have done with the abacus and the slide rule, it is time to retire the teaching of cursive," Polikoff told The New York Times. "The writing is on the wall."

 

Those who learn the rudiments of the abacus and / or slide rule, gain insights into the shape of mathematics not possessed by those who didn't (seeing and using log scales, particularly). As to his concluding sentence, I wonder if the bozo (no disrespect meant to clowns) realizes that keyboarding all but removes permanently the 'writing on the wall' except for gang tags and other forms of graffiti.

 

In the words of B. Bunny, "What a maroon."


The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#12 The Good Captain

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 17:15

Georges, alas in the USA this is a reality among many poor kids. Remember the person saying this in Court was barely of legal age.

Obviously not incapable of using a firearm though.


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#13 fiberdrunk

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 17:21

The quotation from the article pasted below, an agglutination of ill-informed opinions, is typical of the blather expounded by Polikoff and his ilk. He assumes that the loss of these skills is a positive good.

 

"As we have done with the abacus and the slide rule, it is time to retire the teaching of cursive," Polikoff told The New York Times. "The writing is on the wall."

 

Those who learn the rudiments of the abacus and / or slide rule, gain insights into the shape of mathematics not possessed by those who didn't (seeing and using log scales, particularly). As to his concluding sentence, I wonder if the bozo (no disrespect meant to clowns) realizes that keyboarding all but removes permanently the 'writing on the wall' except for gang tags and other forms of graffiti.

 

In the words of B. Bunny, "What a maroon."

 

Amen to that!


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#14 Frank_Federalist_Pens

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 17:55

This thread has been discussed here before, and other forums...

 

No, nothing to do with either teacher's pay, nor their education level....

 

The fact is the NCLB (No Child Left Behind Act), though reversed (suspended,whatever), caused the content standards to be rewritten in the public schools. Therefore, in order to teach students a "test standard", various content (including handwriting) has been sidelined/eliminated. Changing this content back is easier stated, than implemented!

 

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#15 RMN

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 18:36

Obviously not incapable of using a firearm though.

Hey, these are necessary skills, what with every American allowed to own a gun....

Is going to be part of the curriculum soon.... :wacko: :headsmack: :sick: :doh:

 

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#16 Mickey

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 20:12

This thread has been discussed here before, and other forums...

 

No, nothing to do with either teacher's pay, nor their education level....

 

The fact is the NCLB (No Child Left Behind Act), though reversed (suspended,whatever), caused the content standards to be rewritten in the public schools. Therefore, in order to teach students a "test standard", various content (including handwriting) has been sidelined/eliminated.

 

This falls into the category of a semi-canard. NCLB set minimum standards, one might even say minimal standards. Teachers, if sufficiently dedicated and competent, are / were perfectly within their rights to exceed the standards. That most / many / some / any students fail to meet this standard is testament to the quality of the present communities of teachers, students, and parents.

 

When I went to school, back in the days of wax tablets and styli, there were already state standards to be met for each grade level. The big differences were that the standards applied to the student, not the teacher - there was not yet a strong public sentiment that the janitorial and teaching staffs could swap jobs with little effect on the outcome - and that the standards were rather more stringent.

 

The goal of NCLB was to provide school districts just cause to remove incompetent staff, the belief being that superior education would result. Unfortunately, the test suite was written largely by the foxes or their agents and with predictable results. NCLB built a ceiling, one only about 3 inches from the floor.

 

They're "more to be pitied than censured..."


The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries


#17 RLTodd

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 20:17

This might have something to do with how much teachers are paid. 

 

Tops out at about +$80K / year for 9 months of presence in out district.

Of coruse the real money is in Administraton.

 

Think the issues are something else.


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#18 GabrielleDuVent

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 00:21

Not an issue of poor kids. Cursive is not taught in the US. Pencil/pen and paper are used for quick notes but not for serious writing: that is the assumption. Kids are taught "keyboarding", and they learn to "thumb" text messages on their hand-held electronics, which combine phone plus music plus video plus note-taker. 

 

Not good...maybe will pass, but here now. 

 

People in the computer industry have tried to replace pencil and paper for more than 30 years. People have reflected on the consequences: sloppy spelling (ah, spellcheck), sloppy grammar (put a grammar-checking inside MS Word), extra words in sentences (add a style-checker). 

 

The education-teachers are conceding to what they've been told is reality.

 

I learned cursive in the US. Granted, this was in the 90s (which was only a little while ago, but for some reason people make it out to be ages ago).

 

Let's admit something here. Apart from the select few who still write, who in the US actually needs cursive? I'm not saying "down with cursives" - not by long shot - but would this Miss Jeantel (who really should have admitted 'I can't read cursive', not 'I don't') ever need to correspond in a situation where one will be judged their level of education and intellect by the handwriting a document?

 

The population here is very, very skewed. The vast majority of the population watch TV, go to the movie theatre, read magazines, and listen to the music that is usually in the Pop section of Billboard... and not much else. I'm not saying any of those are bad - apart from the TV, I do them all - but my selection isn't limited to that. From what I've seen, most people's selections are limited to just that. None of these activities require a pen, let alone writing

 

We see the handwritten letters by Beethoven, Napoleon, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, and think "there really is something different between handwritten and typed letters, mmm". But I seriously doubt Miss Jeantel would pick up a copy of "The Browning Letters". The only reason she is discussed here is because she was unfortunate enough to get involved in this trial; but there are those just like her who will live happily without their lack of knowledge of cursive handwriting. 

 

Some things just get obsolete. While this may give even more prestige to those who know the obsolete, they are still obsolete. Cursive is one of them. This is going on worldwide, nothing to beat the US with. I know people who can name the entire roster of the Japanese idol group AKB48, but can't name one member of Rokkasen. I had a student (I was teaching ESL) who didn't know how to use paper-format dictionary. 

 

We can all gasp and be horrified, but we're the minority. 


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#19 thang1thang2

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 00:40

 

Tops out at about +$80K / year for 9 months of presence in out district.

Of coruse the real money is in Administraton.

 

Think the issues are something else.

 

Apples to apples, RLTodd. 

 

http://www.nea.org/home/12661.htm

 

 

The average starting salary of teachers is about $30,400.  Comparable professions? $43-45k starting

 

" Analysis of weekly wage trends by researchers at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that teachers' wages have fallen behind those of other workers since 1996, with teachers' inflation-adjusted weekly wages rising just 0.8%, far less than the 12% weekly wage growth of other college graduates and of all workers."

 

And my favorite one. "Teachers only work from 8 to 3 and they have weekends and the summer off. It's totally fair!"

 

Teachers work 8 to 3, then they grade, then they plan, then they organize. They listen to parents, they help kids, they do after school programs. Teachers also prepare over the summer for the next year, they take classes for re-certification. 

 

Teachers spend an average of 50 hours per week on instructional duties, including an average of 12 hours each week on non-compensated school-related activities such as grading papers, bus duty, and club advising

 

Merit pay would do nothing. Teachers don't get automatic raises. Teachers get paid horrible wages, no matter what. 

 

$80k? I've never EVER seen that number. Except of course, in Nassau, New York. In Nassau county teachers can make 88k on average. Want to know the cost of living there? Moving from las angeles California (one of the largest cities in the world) to Nassau would decrease your pay by an equivalent of 11.4k dollars a year.

 

Moving from Topeka Kansas? If you made 88,000 dollars a year in kansas, you would need to make 167,000 a year to maintain the same standard of living in New York. I know I can make 80k as an engineer, receiving almost the exact same training as a high school math teacher would need (plus electrical courses). Can you say the same for a teacher? Who's average salar y in Kansas isn't even 50k? 

 

I would really like to see where your 80k is coming from. 

 

(My mother is a teacher, so this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I've had to see her suffer through pay-cuts for 12 years straight. Or pay "freezes". She works in the private district, and makes more money there than she would in the public district)

 

Wanna know her pay? 50k. It's the highest salary I've ever seen for a teacher in a town of that population and cost of living. We can't afford jacksquat compared to everyone else I know with her level of training)

 

Want a masters, double major? Pick computer engineering with a second major in computer science. You're more or less guaranteed a starting pay of about 70 or so grand. And your hours really are "40 a week" which means, guess what, you can take a second job at that same sweet 70 grand if you manage to get really lucky and find people with the right hours and make it work. 

 

Want to make money? Don't ever become a teacher. 



#20 pmsalty

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 00:41

 

Doubtful. In terms of relative (and absolute) compensation, today's teacher is paid vastly better than my mother and grandmother (both teachers) were, yet it's fairly clear that the teacher of 3 or 4 decades ago were markedly more competent than the present crop. (Yes, there are/were exceptions.) While we're about it, we might as well dispense with the multilingual canard, as well. The tongue spoken in the homes of my mom's first class included Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. (My mother's grandfather spoke French.) Along with one other teacher, my mother taught K-9 in one classroom. She also drove the bus. The difference was and is that for some teaching is a calling, for others simply a job.

Amen. Education is the USA is horrible. The educational system is broken and needs to be replaced.


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