H-SANTA MARIA

Sep 11, 2013 7:01 PM by April Hansen, KSBY

Common Core standards question teaching cursive

New national standards for classroom curriculum are leaving behind the pen and paper, but some states, including California, continue to teach the art of writing. Common Core standards, adopted by 47 states since 2010, set the goals and guidelines for what students should be learning at each grade level.Cursive isn't required through the Core, but states can choose to keep it in their standards. Students in a 3rd grade class at Battles Elementary School in Santa Maria continues to practice their cursive skills. Some may question its relevance in modern life where typing on a phone or computer is the norm, but for this group of 3rd graders, the loops and curves of the letter 'B' are their guide to writing. "It makes your writing beautiful and efficient and I would hate for us to lose that as a society," said 3rd grade teacher Noelle Tolentino. Tolentino has taught cursive in her classroom for almost 19 years. She says it's important that students do not lose this skill. "It helps develop their fine motor skills and again it's something we need in a society to write manually on paper than just emails," said Tolentino. But Common Core is not including it in the future of education. "Everything is done through text messaging or emails. Very few things are done in cursive. Although, we all love to receive a thank you note or anything that is written in cursive writing. We all enjoy that," said SMBSD Director of Curriculum Olivia Bolanos. California is one of 41 states still requiring cursive, but Bolanos says many people still question its value in the real world. "But is that necessary for college and career readiness?" said Bolanos. For these third graders, they aren't thinking about college yet. Just making sure they make the loop on the letter 'B' just right. The new standards won't go into effect in California schools until next year. http://www.corestandards.org/

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