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Wednesday's Letters to the Editor

<b>Cursive writing</b>

EDITOR: In 2010, I was teaching third grade and was a member of the California Academic Standards Commission. The commission reviewed the Common Core Standards and recommended to the state Board of Education that California adopt those standards, with additional standards that reflected California priorities. We added the requirement for teaching cursive writing.

Students who can write cursive delight in being able to read it. Many times a student has come up to me holding the facsimile of a letter from Thomas Jefferson or Lewis to Clark, amazed that they can read the actual words written by that famous person.

I teach fifth grade at Olivet Charter School in Santa Rosa. We recently studied "opportunity cost" as part of a social studies lesson on resources. Opportunity cost is the cost of choosing — if you decide to use or own one thing, then you give up something else. Of course, choosing to teach cursive means that I am giving up instructional time that could be devoted to something else. My students will soon be weighing in with their own opinion pieces about whether students should be required to learn cursive. They will research and read, including the article in Sunday's Press Democrat ("Cursive writing survives, for now"). Then they will write their opinions, in cursive.

KATHY HARRIS

Sebastopol

<b>Israel's self-defense</b>

EDITOR: Susan Lamont ("Strongest must lead the way to peace," Close to Home, Monday) made no mention of the fact that since the 2006 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the Gazans have shot many hundreds of rockets at Israel's cities in unprovoked attacks clearly targeting civilians. What other country would Lamont expect to tolerate this?

No mention of the fact that Hamas and other Palestinians have repeatedly called for and worked toward the annihilation of Israel. Yet Lamont accuses Israel of genocide.

No mention of the fact that Western countries have given billions of dollars to the Palestinians. Instead of spending it on schools and industries that would improve their lives, they spend it on explosives. They have consistently chosen terrorism over peaceful coexistence.


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