Northwest NEWS

April 1, 2002

Editorial

Why are our children failing at penmanship?

Kathy Chiles' comments on penmanship struck a chord with me. I was horrified when my daughter entered kindergarten in 1990 in the Northshore School District and discovered Duvall was used. There wasn't even a sample Duvall alphabet displayed in the classroom. (You can identify the Duvall alphabet from the G. Instead of the horizontal line as on this "G" there is a vertical line attached to it from tip of bottom "C" down to "line" on which print is aligned on a Duvall "G.")
   I asked about it and never got an answer. Then in third or fourth grade when my daughter was to get what cursive there is with Duvall, this was eliminated for keyboard practice. So my daughter is now in high school and only knows printing. She is competent on the key board thanks to endless hours on chat lines in junior high and senior high not due to any school instruction received beyond proper fingering.
   She just filled out a SAT application that asked the student to write a passage - not print. She interpreted this as print with a machine. I hope she is right. Printing with an alphabet that does not have a universally recognized G is the sum total of my daughter's "writing" ability with a Northshore District School education.
   When my daughter was in an early grade, one parent objected to keyboarding, as in a few years she thought it would be obsolete. Where will this leave our children?
   Name withheld by request