Editorial: Penmanship Peril - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Editorial: Penmanship Peril

Source: WBRC file video Source: WBRC file video

The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Friday, March 10, 2017:

I’ll probably get in trouble for this one, but here goes.

Looking back on recent years, so much has changed from the jobs we do to the way we spend our days. Technology plays a bigger and bigger role in things all the time.

This makes educating our children so much more of a challenge. Take reading, math, science, social studies and pile on a whole new group of expectations -- computer proficiency, even foreign languages in some schools. There's a lot more to teach and to learn. That means with some new skills being added, some old skills just aren't as important anymore.

Maybe one of those is cursive handwriting.

Last year, state lawmakers in Alabama passed a law requiring cursive handwriting to be taught by the end of third grade in Alabama public schools. With all the challenges our state must tackle and devote time to solving, surely we can have other priorities.

Look, no one thinks communicating isn't important, but let's prioritize computers and keyboarding skills. Testing, communicating, critical thinking -- it's all taking place on computers, not with a pen to paper. Some research does say cursive helps a child's cognitive development, but so do many other learning techniques that schools are already using.

I use cursive to sign my name. I can't think of another thing I do with it. A recent poll at one of our Raycom sister stations in Cleveland showed people overwhelmingly don't see cursive as something schools should be devoting valuable class time to.

Watching our children learn the same things we learned can be emotional -- it's a shared experience. But education is about looking to and preparing for the future. 

We're asking our young people to learn more and more these days. Let's sign off on letting cursive slip off the page.

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