Why can’t 19 year old Rachel Jeantel read cursive?

If you have been watching the Trayvon Martin case you are familiar with 19 year old Rachel Jeantel. She was the last person to talk to Trayvon Martin. When asked to read a letter that was written by a friend Jeantel was forced to admit that she could not read cursive. How could a child go through a school system and not be able to read cursive? Did the prosecution know this little detail prior to putting her on the stand? Did they do her a disservice? Watch the clip and share your thoughts.

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  • John56  On June 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Why is Trayvon dead???

    • musesofamom  On June 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      We have discussed Trayvon’s death at lenght on this blog and we will continue to do so, but we will also discuss witnesses.

  • Spanish Inquisitor  On June 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    She’s lucky. Some kids go through school and can’t read ANY form of written English. And Republicans keep doing everything they can to cut back on education. No Child Left Behind is leaving more children behind. We’re turning into a very uneducated country. It’s sad.

    I know! Let’s just reduce federal revenue sharing to the states, make sure property values decline so that school taxes go down, cut back on teachers, reduce the wages of the ones who are left, increase the class sizes, fail to provide educational materials, including books, and make sure the nutritional levels of students during school hours are reduced. That ought to fix things!

    • elogam  On June 29, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Sorry S.I. I can’t let you get away with blaming Republicans for this woman’s inability to read. Money is NOT the problem. According to an article in BusinessWeek dated January 7, 2012 the US spends more on education at the primary and secondary level than all but three industrialized nations, but ranks 14th in proficiency out of the 34 nations in the survey. Where does the money go? I could wax prolifically on my opinions as to why Johnny (or Jeantel) can’t read, and most of it is based on school districts giving more focus on global warming or that it’s perfectly cool for Heather to have Two Mommies than on teaching how to divide fractions, reason through problems, and read or write cursive. I see outstanding teachers each and every day. They have some problems that are insurmountable, much of it politically driven. Here in California they just decided in the LA Unified School District that you cannot suspend a student for disrespectful and disruptive behavior. The rationale is “well, if we suspend them they don’t learn anything.” If you DON’T suspend them then NOBODY learns anything because the miscreant disrupts the process and knows there is no accountability. We need to get back to a place where we say “students will be proficient in THESE areas before they can be promoted…” and if they are not proficient, they need to be held back. Stigma or not, failing forward helps no one. Get them the help they need, stick to education and not liberal indoctrination, and in about 15 years we should again have the best education system in the world.

  • conquerer  On June 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    This is the result of the educational system in the U.S.today plus the lack of effort on the part of this young woman. Young lady: the word is “aSked” not “aked”

  • Bill  On June 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Unfortunately, there is nothing too unusual about her inability to read cursive. In fact a large number of high school students can’t even read printed words. This was not a disservice to Ms. Jeantel as the attorney in no way is responsible for her plight. What was a disservice to her was an education system that failed her and millions of minority kids throughout the nation. Exposing the fecklessness of the public education system amounts to a service to the nation. This is a perfect example of the soft bigotry of low expectations.

  • Kathryn  On June 28, 2013 at 1:58 am

    I am an elementary school teacher in a public school in Baltimore. I can tell you exactly why she can’t read cursive. Teachers are told by the administration not to teach it. Due to No Child Left Behind, we spend most of the day teaching Reading and Math (so the students can pass the test) and the time left (which turns out to be 45 minutes) is spent trying to squeeze in Science, Social Studies, and Health. I am not saying that I agree with these practices. I would love to teach handwriting. Many students need it and in fact, many beg me to teach them cursive. I always squeeze a little cursive in at the end of the year and most are truly excited to learn it. Basically, what has happened in America, especially in our inner cities, is that “if it’s not on the test, it’s not taught.” I’m glad we are doing away with “No Child Left Behind.” Hopefully things will begin to change in the right direction. Education should never be limited to what kids need to know on a test, but what they need to know in order to become an intelligent, well-rounded individual, including how to read and write in cursive.


  • By Fluff - Print or Cursive - Page 3 on July 4, 2013 at 1:15 am

    […] Why can’t 19 year old Rachel Jeantel read cursive? | politics from the eyes of an ebony mom […]

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