Forty-five states have implemented the "Common Core" education program, which aims to provide uniformity in what's being taught in classrooms -- but to the disappointment of traditionalists, it doesn't require cursive writing lessons.
The backlash over the lack of cursive in Common Core has resulted in California, Georgia, Idaho and Massachusetts reinstituting cursive as a requirement, and this week the House of Representatives in North Carolina unanimously passed legislation requiring that elementary school students learn cursive.
The State Board of Education will expected to make sure that public schools provide instruction so that students create readable documents in cursive by the end of fifth grade, and that they have memorized multiplication tables.
The bill drew 107 yes votes with no dissenters.
"A few didn't vote," joked House Speaker Thom Tillis. "We wonder whether they can't write in cursive."
The bill now goes to the state Senate. If approved, it would go into effect for the 2013-14 school year, with education officials saying it could be accommodated into the curriculum.
State Rep. Pat Hurley, R-Asheboro, a primary sponsor of the bill, said learning cursive will help children with their brain activity, motor skills and self-discipline. And, she said, it aids students in reading historic documents, such as letters from Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.
"It would ensure students are ready to function in the larger society," she said, adding that education officials have told her that systems can make accommodations for students with learning disabilities.
Amid Hurley's lengthy defense of the bill, state Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, asked her a question.
"Do you know anybody who opposes this bill?" Michaux asked, ending the one-sided debate.
(Contact reporter T. Keung Hui at email@example.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com.)
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