Clubhouse is truly a gold mine for market research. Several weeks ago, I was talking with a chemistry professor from OH. She was asking me questions on how to support students with communication issues.
She verbalized a trend that with increased computer use, general communication skills are declining. “Students do not know how to right a complete sentence or sent a properly formatted email.” Furthermore, because she is expecting an email formatted,
Could you please…. Thank you.
she received a poor progress review from her department chair. She went on to say that she would not back down from her expectations because it would serve the students in the future. I commended her for her tenacity to stand firm in her advocacy for the students.
As the conversation progressed, I discovered her concern was for the overall changes in education. Through probing questions, I shared some of the history of education regulations and laws.
The roots of special education law stem from the infamous, “I have a dream” speech that MLK Jr. delivered in Washington that sparked the Civil Rights movement. It was at that time that people began to stand up for the rights of all people.
1965: Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA): Birth of Title 1 and the Bureau of Education and the National Advisory Council/National Council on Disability were created. This law mandated funding for special needs students. The first IEP were created.
In 1974, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act mandated the privacy of student education records. That’s why you have those forms to complete every August or September dictating who can see your child’s records and that you as a parent have the right to appeal anything that may be incorrect in the record.
It wasn’t until 1983 that work transition programs and parent training were mandated. Preschools and early intervention services followed in 1986.
ESEA’s name was changing in 1990 to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and revised in 2004.
In 2004, IDEA aligned with No Child Left Behind (2001) which mandated adequate yearly progress.
Finally, 2013, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were instituted. Of course, the past year has greatly impacted education delivery.
Each regulation changed the face of education, but the CCSS seems to have had the greatest impact on handwriting skills. The Standards have camouflaged handwriting and cursive writing. Although, technically, they are still present, the words “handwriting instruction” and “cursive” are not mentioned directly. In lieu of meeting standards, handwriting and cursive instruction are dying.
Research states that explicit instruction helps students overcome handwriting problems. Experiences over time solidify the neurological pathways.
Conversation about this subject is causing legislators to revisit this topic. As they consider their review of the Standards, I ask you to contact your legislators and encourage them to rewrite the writing standard in K-3 curriculum to include explicit instruction for handwriting and cursive.
HELP reinstate print and cursive instruction in our classrooms!