Letters to the Editor

Students need tech skills more than cursive | Letters

Regarding the letter to the editor published in the December 4, 2013, issue of the Valley Record by Mr. Joe Monahan of Fall City, I must respectfully disagree. As a parent of a first grader I find it frustrating to discover that cursive is still being taught at all. I can’t think of any formal instruction that could better waste the time and effort of students and teachers. Any and all instruction time currently allotted toward cursive writing would be much better spent teaching keyboarding skills.

Reading and writing hold very high esteem in my home. I am a professional writer and a champion of strong written communication skills. I read often, both classical and contemporary literature. My husband is currently writing a political novel in his spare time. The implication that being able to write in cursive is a requirement for literacy is simply untrue. Moreover, Mr. Monahan asserts that computer literacy is an “individual choice” that students can pursue after graduation. I’m afraid nothing I could say could more concisely impugn his credibility. Electronic communication is not a passing fad. And while some may lament the growing irrelevancy of well-formed penmanship, the truth is that cursive writing has become—at best—an auxiliary skill.

In reality, the situation is the exact opposite. It’s keyboarding skills that are imperative both for the present and foreseeable future. Parents who wish their children to be able to write in cursive can teach it themselves, or seek out private instruction or (the irony!) find an online class. I encourage the district to invest in curriculum that is relevant, and not spend precious classroom time burdening our children with the genteel sophistications of a bygone era.

Lori Piquet Cleary

Fall City

 

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