More NC GOP bright ideas: bring back cursive

Back to the basics of miscommunications:

In the age of texting, tweeting and other technological ways of communicating, North Carolina’s elementary school students could soon have to master a more old-fashioned craft: writing in cursive. “Every child should know cursive,” said state Rep. Pat Hurley, an Asheboro Republican and a primary sponsor of the bill. “Our children can’t write a simple sentence. They think printing their name is their signature.”

I have yet to read a hand-written note in cursive that didn't have at least one inscrutable word in it. You know why they call it cursive, right? Because when you come back from the store and you've got gorgonzola instead of garbanzo, it's not the note writer who has to run back to the store, it's the note reader. And he or she will be cursing all the way to and from said store, with maybe a little sotto voce grumbling at the beans themselves. Which they don't deserve, but that's what happens when unnecessary confusion arises.

Just an added note for Rep. Hurley: when I looked at your bio to see if you were a teacher, or a graphologist, or a calligrapher, or a reformed forger, or some other occupation which might shed some light on your interest in this subject, I see you put "Legislator" in that category. See, we already know that, because, you know. We're looking at your North Carolina General Assembly page. The "Occupation" thing is for other stuff you do.

So, in the absence of any helpful information, I'm just going to take a shot in the dark: are you a marriaqe counselor? Because they're the only people who will benefit from this bill.


Cursive crusader may need a trip "back to the basics" of the law

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kate Gladstone
Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Subject: Cursive crusader Pat Hurley may need a trip back to some legal basics
To: ""

It was interesting to see a North Carolina legislator (Pat Hurley) quoted as denying the legality of printed signatures — which are defended by the laws that she is sworn to uphold.

The UCC 1-201(37) — North Carolina General Statutes § 25‑1‑201(37) — specifies that “‘Signed’ includes using any symbol executed or adopted with present intention to adopt or accept a writing.”

Further, the North Carolina General Statutes12-3(10) states, for use in statutes: “Provided, that in all cases where a written signature is required by law, the same shall be in a proper handwriting, or in a proper mark.”

Admittedly, Rep. Hurley may exclude printed handwriting from the category of “a proper handwriting” — if so, she has not pointed to any legal defense for such exclusion.

Further, the North Carolina General Statutes12-3(10) states, for use in statutes: “Provided, that in all cases where a written signature is required by law, the same shall be in a proper handwriting, or in a proper mark.”

Even if she relegates all other styles to the category of "mark" — and, again, she has not shown any legal basis for doing so — the law of her state (and of the United States) specifically admits such signatures.

This is one topic I'd lie to see de-politicized...

I think its' importance is not readily apparent. Writing in cursive is civilized and classy. It also reinforces cognitive incorporation of the language in young learners. We've become so coarse, so crass, so indifferent to the finer things in life that I really hate to see something like this discarded from our curriculum.

I disagree with you, heartily, on this subject.

Cursive writing is a skill every person should have and master. It teaches one the alphabet, concepts of capitalization and grammar that can only be obtained through practice. And, it gives an insight into people's personalities. You might as well, for me, be arguing that we don't need to teach arithmetic since we now have calulators to do it for us. Than again, I'm old.

Stan Bozarth

there is neurological

there is neurological research indicating that repeated cursive practice and spelling build analytical pathways

Good ole days

As a plebe at Annapolis, I started my academic career in the primitive age of the slide rule. Several years later, after programmable calculators with little magnetic strips, and various iterations of the personal computer (8" floppy disks, anyone), I found myself in the big room at the McKimmon Center taking the Principles and Practices of Engineering examination (Mechanical). We were advised to bring two non-programmable calculators - one for backup. Ever being a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy, I also dusted off my old slide rule - just in case.

While no respectable engineer today would whip his talc-lubricated plastic magic tool out of the faux leather case, I must say that learning engineering using a slide rule allowed me to better understand things like logarithms and exponential functions and trig functions. There were important lessons in being able to check one's results against reasonableness, and that there is such a thing as being "too accurate," especially in engineering. With engineering calculations now done on the computer, it seems to me those lessons are lost.

Relevant to the thread only because slide rules have gone the way of cursive writing....


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Yes, by all means, let's not teach kids how to write cursive

This is one of the dumbest blog posts I've ever read. Seriously. And we wonder why the rest of the modern world considers the U.S. an intellectual backwater.

Statute of limitations

What is the statute of limitations for the crime of teaching cursive? Do you think those who taught cursive in the past will be subject to prosecution?

Where in the hell did the idea of not teaching cursive come from? Who thinks this stuff up?

"I don't think we need to teach people who John Hancock was? If they don't know cursive then no one can say, 'Put your John Hancock right here."

44 years

I'm pretty sure that was when I had to go up in front of the class and have my chicken scratches critiqued by my giggling classmates. ;)

As a teacher I can tell you

As a teacher I can tell you that the biggest concern is that this is yet anouther attempt by the General Assembly to micromanage the nuts and bolts of education. I can see both sides of the issue, but it isn't something they should be deciding. This should be left to the education community.

Cursive is being taught, just not as much as it once was. Remember that the third grade is the year it is traditonally introduced. What else starts in the third grade? That is right, End of Grade (EOG) testing. Have you ever wondered why your child seems to lack much social studies knowledge when they enter middle school? Standardized testing, or at least the obsession with standardized testing has created a an environment where there is a crunch for time in the instructional day. If you teach all subjects as teachers do in elementary school, and are considered a failure if your students don't excell in just two of them, (math and reading comprehension)it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out what gets pushed to the side.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

As another teacher, I second your comments, well said

The obsession with standardized tests that do not do not measure what they are supposed to measure and are used unethically has done great damage to education in NC and across the USA.