Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 28, 2013

Writing's on the wall for teaching cursive in school


Niagara Gazette — John Diodate, principal of Thomas Marks Elementary in Wilson, said though common core has eliminated cursive, he’s asking his kindergarten teachers to teach it anyway.

“We’ve decided we’re going to teach it to our kids,” he said. “It’s bubbly, it’s round. When you give kids markers and crayons, they don’t make straight lines. They’re naturally inclined to draw swirls.”

Wilson will still continue to provide keyboarding instruction, as well, a necessary venture if the district plans to keep up with the direction the state’s education department is taking schools in the immediate future. State testing, including the much-maligned standardized tests for students in grades 3-8 in math and English Language Arts, will all be given exclusively online starting in 2015.

It doesn’t leave much time to prepare students to be able to master what is required of them.

But Diodate also must pause and examine the long-term beyond one or two years away. He said the state, and the common core designers beyond it, needs to consider what education truly is.

“Education is really a pendulum swinging back and forth,” he said. “I just wonder when it’s going to come back the other direction. For instance, a focus for a while was on reading for information. But we want our students to read the classics, not just nonfiction.”

ON THE WEB • For more on this topic, visit our website,

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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