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Recent news out of North Carolina states: “Senate wants cursive, times tables taught.”
Imagine, government at the state level has to pass a law requiring that schools make sure children know the most basic things--multiplication tables and how to write their names.
The new initiatives were passed by “a wide margin.”
This news shows how foolish our Education Establishment can be: they let the school situation deteriorate to the point that legislators in the state government have to become involved.
For centuries, it was understood that one of the first things you did in school was to learn the multiplication tables. You see 4 x 7 and you know the answer is 28. There’s nothing else to think about. When you encounter multiplication problems, for example, 327 times 648, it’s easy to do such problems.
On the other hand, if you don’t have the multiplication tables in your head, everything becomes cumbersome, slow, and nearly impossible.
Cynics think that’s what the Education Establishment is aiming for when they campaign against needing to memorize such basics as the multiplication tables.
So the state government of North Carolina has to step in and stop the nonsense. Cheers for them.
The legislators are also enacting a second law, which will require that children learn handwriting or cursive.
The Common Core Curriculum dictates that cursive writing is no longer an important thing and should not be required. The legislators of North Carolina say: on the contrary.
Cursive handwriting is instrumental in helping children learn to read quickly. It forces them to deal with the shapes of the letters, the left-to-right flow of the language, and many subtleties of how letters are put together to make words.
Cursive handwriting also forces children to be precise, which is required in little else that children do in school these days.
The only thing good about some education policies is that they force parents and community leaders to get organized and fight back.
We’re seeing a pattern: the good trends in education are coming from outside. For example, classical academies are using time-tested ideas from the last 25 centuries. Second, Professor E. D. Hirsch, famous for his books on cultural literacy, is introducing a full curriculum called Core Knowledge. Meanwhile, the Khan Academy shows what can be done on the Internet. And many other innovators and entrepreneurs are stepping up to the educational plate. They are doing what the schools should be doing but won't.
The goal of our public schools must be to teach as efficiently as possible from kindergarten to 12th grade, pushing each child to learn as much as that child can learn. This goal becomes moot if the school regards learning facts as a waste of time.
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