I came across something disturbing the other day with 9th graders and I wanted to hear your thoughts/experiences. It's a known fact that many students are reading and writing below grade level. But what I experienced was disheartening. I handed out a short report (easy reading) that was written in cursive. 1/2 the students handed it back to me and said, "I can't read this.' I almost fell on the floor. I explained that this is cursive. (I don't know why I even tried to explain, since they already indicated to me that it was useless to them.) Long story short, those who couldn't read it said they were never taught it? How can this be? Are programs like NCLB and SFA missing the basic fundamentals of learning?