September 4, 2013 |
For all the new things that schools will be called on to teach under the soon-to-be-implemented Common Core curriculum standards, it's a skill that has been omitted that is causing controversy: cursive writing. Good old script penmanship isn't part of the standards, which have been adopted by 45 states, including California. It's not forbidden or discouraged, but Common Core focuses on analytical and computer-based skills rather than the long hours of practice required to link letters in a flowing style.
September 3, 2013 |
So many people have unhappy stories about learning cursive writing that a popular new instructional method is called “Handwriting Without Tears.” I have my own awful memories of dozens of hours spent laboriously tracing out the elaborate upper-case H that was in educational vogue at the time. And that was just one letter. My grade in penmanship - a generous C - made me feel so stupid that I spent yet dozens more hours trying to relearn it all in sixth grade, this time holding my pencil the “right” way. My mother, who possessed beautiful penmanship as well as a bigger view of the world, encouraged me not to worry about it. Once I reached junior high school, she said, no one would care about my handwriting.
April 3, 2013
Re "A different slant on cursive," April 1 The article notes that a study on cursive found that essays written in this form of handwriting received slightly higher scores. Suzanne Asherson of the group Handwriting Without Tears attributes this difference partly to cursive being easier to read and thus easier to score. USC education professor Morgan Polikoff says the kind of students who write in cursive on the SATs may just be smarter. It would seem that there is a third possibility.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2013 |
Before students hunker down to take their SATs this spring, many will have an array of tools to help them with the exam. Flash cards, study guides and - cursive handwriting? For many, cursive handwriting is a thing of the past, an archaic method taught in the days before keyboards and touch screens. But some argue that writing longhand could help in placement exams. National core standards don't require cursive to be taught to students, but some states, including California, Alabama and Georgia, have included cursive handwriting in their state requirements in early elementary grades, something supporters say should be more widespread.
HOME & GARDEN
September 3, 2011 |
The summer of a thousand Band-Aids is just about over, and the little guy is off to the third grade, finally. The first day of school comes just as his mother is contemplating hurling herself from the roof. Coincidence? Probably not. Our little Huck. Spent the summer working on his impressions and burping the alphabet. One week, he took up tap-dancing. So now he's off to the third grade — elbows like broom handles, scrubbed as if being sold. I think his mother might've taken him to one of those car detailers to have him steam cleaned.
February 7, 2010 |
A10-inch screen, more books than you can possibly read and a gazillion potential apps: The iPad has its enticements, but for decades I've wished for something more. In the early 1980s, I worked with another reporter, George Frank, on what turned out to be the Los Angeles Times' first computer-assisted investigative project. The issue was laundered campaign contributions -- hundreds of them. And to track and cross-file the illicit donations, we lugged boxes of 3-by-5 index cards from Southern California to Sacramento and back, as we researched documents and interviewed politicians and bogus contributors.