New Education Standards End Rote Learning, Cursive

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Michael Short / Special to the Chronicle Third-graders practice cursive writing at Encompass Academy in East Oakland. Cursive writing and repetitive learning are not priorities under a new set of national education standards offered to states.

San Francisco Chronicle
June 11, 2012
Written By Jill Tucker

Like fashion, trends in public education come and go.

What's in vogue depends on the decade and often reflects which way the political wind blows and what shiny gadgets have hit the market.

With the threat of Soviet innovation and Sputnik, old math became new math in the 1960s and then back to old arithmetic about 10 years later.

Phonics, like bell bottoms, always makes a comeback, although some fads are but brief historical blips. Think the metric system and mullets.

But with such limited time to teach, there have long been debates about what children need to know and how and when to teach it - and when to stop teaching something altogether.

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