Arizona becomes one of first states to require public schools to teach cursive

- Arizona will soon require public schools to teach cursive, part of a slate of new education standards approved by the state Board of Education Monday in its push to revise national guidelines known as Common Core.
The new K-12 math and language arts learning standards will take effect in fall 2018.

The newly adopted requirements, known as Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, are based on Common Core standards with revisions designed to clarify expectations and give teachers and school boards more flexibility, said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

Among the changes:
• The Arizona standards remove requirements that 70 percent of high school reading material be “informational,” while 30 percent is “literary.” A staff summary of the changes called those requirements “arbitrary” and “inappropriate” and said the revision will give local school boards more flexibility when choosing reading material.
• Arizona classrooms are expected to teach cursive handwriting through fifth grade. By third grade, students will be expected to read and write cursive letters in both upper and lower case. The cursive requirement is part of the new "foundational writing skills," standards that also include sound-letter concepts and spelling, which Douglas said was the first of its kind in the country.
• Second graders are expected memorize the sums of two one-digit numbers. Third graders are expected to memorize multiplication and division tables through 10 x 10.

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