Editorial: Valuable communication technique

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 01:17 AM

North Carolina’s island might be small, but we’re glad to have a piece of it. We are with six other states opting to keep cursive writing within the Common Core testing.

Common Core has hit hard. The first year numbers are low across the state, including Vance County. We were warned. It doesn’t mean students lost knowledge overnight, or teachers quit teaching or students quit learning.

We changed systems. We have a new baseline for analysis. The argument was for a better way to judge the work of students. Time will tell if the measuring stick is better.

Regardless, we have a lot of work to do in educating our students.

But we’re glad the style of writing that graces our country’s Constitution is being kept in the classrooms of the Old North State. California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts and Utah are also keeping cursive writing among the 45 states adopting Common Core.

The reasons many didn’t include it are varied and numerous. Topping the list is the obvious — we’re in a computer age. Digital learning begins with the youngest of toddlers in things their parents buy for them. Just take a look at what is rolling out in our Christmas advertisements year after year.

Consider also the teachers who are leaving college for our children’s classrooms. A chasm is evolving of those 20-somethings who haven’t had to learn it, and thus can’t teach it. That means professional development courses, another drain on education dollars.

The board of education for Vance County Schools requires upper-case and lower-case cursive writing be taught by second-grade teachers, and cursive writing carried out through the educational process.

Those favoring cursive writing note the brain science involved, where fluid motion while writing script enhances hand-eye coordination. There’s a development of fine motor skills. Reading, writing and cognition skills are enhanced.

And there’s the obvious — we can’t comprehend what we can’t read. And many great texts were not created on a keyboard or smartphone, but with quill, pencil, pen and paper, like Jefferson’s masterpiece.

Each year, there’s more to teach even if the class isn’t history. There’s new and improved ways for students to process the knowledge.

But not all things old are antiquated.