In the fifties, there was some serious debate about Parents teaching their children cursive before entering their first school year. Primary school educators of the era held that printing should be taught first, to give youngsters a grasp of letter formation, and cursive wasn't taught until students' second year in primary schools.
The morning news' lead story claims that students are no longer taught cursive handwiting in either primary or secondary courses in more than 50% of America's schools -
- and further claims that students are scoring poorly or failing college courses owed to the inability to take the necessary study notes. Does anyone in the academic community ever consider the repurcussions of such sweeping changes these days, or have these students simply been condemned to mediocrity by the system through no fault of their own?
"An average American English speaker engaged in a friendly conversation speaks at a rate of approximately 110 – 150 wpm. Publishers recommend books on tape to be voiced at 150 - 160 wpm." I've known plenty of professors who'd give a country auctioneer a run for his money, and the average professional transcriber (from dictated source material) can barely manage 75 wpm on the keyboard. Cursive notehand can keep up with any Human except for those advertising next Sunday's drag races at the local speedway, and shorthand is fast enough (high: 282 wpm) to allow a student to draw cartoons of the teacher while recording a lecture verbatim. Now we're teaching kids that 15 wpm - the average hand-printing speed - is all they need in Life.
I think I'm beginning to realise why the average SAT score is 60% these days (congratulations here to the great state of Maine, whose average SAT score was 57.875 in 2011). American schools are compensating, however. On May 16th 2012, Florida dropped its passing grade to 50%, and Texas (Austin School District), not to be outdone, lowered passing grades across the board in individual subjects for the TAKS - the lowest passing grade being assigned for Social Studies, at 43.75% - 21 / 48.