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Cursed cursive

November 5, 2012 12:10 am

THE ROLODEX. Cassette tapes. Cameras that use film. And now handwriting, too, is on the fast track to extinction? It's looking that way, as least as far as one North Carolina school district is concerned.

Pitt County school officials announced they are no longer offering cursive writing, formerly a staple in the third-grade lesson plan, because there's just no time for it. That time will instead be put toward meeting North Carolina's Common Core State Standards, designed to help students prepare for living in the 21st century.

So now those third-graders will be taught keyboarding in the time that was being wasted on cursive writing, a skill that apparently ought to be relegated to the scrap heap of history.

But wait! Perhaps all is not lost. Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Olmstead says a team of educators has been assembled and charged with finding time in the school day to teach cursive. After all, she said, students must still be able to scratch out a "recognizable signature."

If not, perhaps they could become medical doctors, whose illegible signatures don't stop them from pursuing a respected and remunerative profession.

In any event, the Pitt County team will be busy dissecting the daily schedule, searching for chances to teach cursive between the ticks of the clock--assuming that telling time hasn't also become lost knowledge.

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