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State proposes requiring cursive for young Arizona students

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Young Arizona students may have to master cursive after all, according to proposed changes to the state’s reading and math learning standards.

The state Board of Education on Friday announced new proposed standards that would include requiring third-graders to be able to read and write in cursive handwriting, The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/2bIEFqv) reported Monday.

How well students are can write in cursive would not factor into whether they pass third grade.

Gov. Doug Ducey earlier this year vetoed legislation that would have required students receive cursive instruction until the 5th grade. The measure had bipartisan support, but Ducey said the Board of Education and not lawmakers should decide how cursive is taught.

The proposed changes also suggest new standards for higher-level high-school math above Algebra I, geometry and Algebra II and adding time and money education standards to elementary education.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, a longtime critic of the state’s Common Core-based standards, said she approves of the revisions because they move some standards away from Common Core.

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“One of the glaring problems that I’ve spoken about north, south, east and west across the state on my opposition of the Common Core standards, or Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, was the lack of higher-level math when it comes to calculus” and trigonometry, she said.

Most proposed changes replace the phrasing and wording of requirements to make them clearer.

“The rigor is still there, it’s just more clear what is expected,” said Carol Lippert, an associate superintendent for the Department of Education.

Rachel Stafford, an English teacher at Mesquite High School in Gilbert who helped develop the proposed reading revisions, said the revisions would give teachers more autonomy in their classrooms.

“I think the public will be able to comprehend what is being asked of students better, as well,” Stafford said.

Arizona residents will be able to voice their opinions on the proposed standards in writing or at 17 public hearings across the state in September.

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5 comments

  1. This requirement for Cursive is to be applauded. It will give substance and foundation to the learning
    process. Turning on the computer is only one area of learning.

  2. This is nonsense, our schools need less interference from the State and more revenue. 25 years of tax cuts mostly out of education has left us with some of the largest class sizes in the Nation and some of the poorest compensated teachers. To the legislature: STOP DABBLING AROUND THE EDGES IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND FUND EDUCATION!!!

  3. Long Live Slide Rules

    45 years ago as computers were becoming more prevalent, but before the PC took over, educators told us we MUST learn how to use the slide rule. You never know when the power is going to go off and we all must do our calculations with the trusty slide rule. People told me I was crazy when I spent part of my summer in a typing course. They told me that course was only for the ‘girls’ since they would be doing the typing at any business. I still have a slide rule to show anyone who is curious. That typing class was probably the most useful class I ever took in high school. I have a hard time reading my own cursive writing. I print anything I want to read later. Cursive is like the slide rule. It is becoming a relic of our past. It may be fun to show people, but is not very useful in everyday life.

  4. Perhaps the naysayers regarding usefulness of cursive may consider that this action requires thinking, pondering, et al as one utilizes this. The computer may yield information but it cannot dream or ruminate in real time.

  5. The blog article is good. The article explores that state proposes requiring cursive for young Arizona students. It mentions that the state Board of Education on Friday proclaimed novel proposed standards that would incorporate requiring third-graders to be capable of reading and writing in cursive handwriting.

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