Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has drafted and will soon introduce legislation that would require both cursive writing and memorization of the multiplication table to be part of the basic education curriculum in New York.
With the implementation of Common Core in New York State, students are more and more often skipping once fundamental elements of their educational foundation. Currently, there is no requirement in the Common Core for students to be taught cursive writing or to memorize the multiplication table. The new Dinowitz legislation would require that these two fundamental building blocks of our children’s education are kept in schools, even if they are not required as part of any of the now numerous standardized tests students are subjected to.
“The notion that a pupil could graduate from 12 years of education without knowing how to sign his or her name in cursive is unacceptable,” Dinowitz said. “Additionally, the ability for pupils to show competency in basic multiplication through a proven method schools have used for years is of the utmost importance.”
The legislation would amend section 801 of the New York State education law, which requires certain elements of the state’s education curriculum to be maintained and implemented in order to create well rounded students that are well versed in subject matters deemed fundamental throughout the years. Cursive writing and knowledge of the multiplication table would thus be deemed “fundamental” and as a result would be required in schools.
“As schools move more and more to ‘teaching to the test’ and away from what once was considered essential parts of a child’s learning process, I am hopeful that this legislation will keep what I consider to be crucial components of one’s education part of the curriculum,” Dinowitz said. “We can adhere to the Common Core curriculum, while at the same time ensuring our children know how to read and write in cursive as well as perform basic multiplication. The two are in no way mutually exclusive.”