GED, handwriting proposals come up for debate in House - - Columbia, South Carolina

GED, handwriting proposals come up for debate in House


Lawmakers took up a fresh batch of education proposals today ranging from requiring students to memorize multiplication tables to providing more alternatives to the GED.

One of the many issues up for debate Tuesday included a bill on whether or not handwriting still has a place in the classroom.

The State Education Department hasn't required it since 2008.

"You don't have to stop and peck on a computer," said Rep. Dwight Loftis (R-Greenville). "The act of handwriting helps students and adults develop and retain information more effectively.

The measure would require an undetermined amount of funding from the state, and also  requires that students memorize multiplication tables. Opponents say there's little benefit because of technology.

"How much time should we spend teaching it, as far as the relevance of what a child may looking at in the work force 10 or 15 years from now," said Dino Teppara from the Education Department.

And big changes could be coming to the GED test, which up to 12,000 South Carolinians take each year.

"GED is helpful, but it's not cutting it for most people," said C.T. Turner, a GED testing service employee. "The workforce is requiring more, more is being required of people.

The State Education Department is currently in the process of selecting two new high school equivalency tests. They also want to offer it in a non-computerized format for people who live in rural communities.

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