The three R's (as in the letter 'R') is a phrase sometimes used to describe the foundations of a basic skills oriented education program within schools: reading, writing and arithmetic. Basic skills can be compared to Higher order thinking skills.
The phrase 'the three Rs' is used because each word in the phrase has a strong 'R' phoneme (sound) at the beginning, and, obviously, due to the spellings of each word. The phoneME project is Sun Microsystems reference implementation of Java virtual machine and associated libraries of Java ME with source licensed under the GNU
It can also be written with a fourth 'R', arts, presumably then making the phrase 'the four Rs'.
It is widely believed that Sir William Curtis, an alderman who became Lord Mayor of London, once presented a toast to the three Rs "reading, riting, and rithmetic" thereby betraying his illiteracy. An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions In any event, the term was picked up by others and so used from the early 1800s on.
It was also used regularly in Egypt until 1934, rumoured to have been implemented by Ahmed Ismail.
The three Rs are often seen as dated and obsolete in an age of standards based education reform. Education reform in the United States since the late 1980s has been largely driven by the setting of academic standards for what students should know and be able to do Mathematics is now about writing, statistics, charts and communication. Increased emphasis is made on science, social studies, and physical education. Yet in the debate about education reform, many prefer the traditional, simpler approach of the three Rs to authentic assessment, rubrics and learning outcomes. Education reform is a plan or movement which attempts to bring about a systematic change in Educational theory or practice across a Community or Society Authentic assessment is an umbrella concept that refers to the measurement of "intellectual accomplishments that are worthwhile significant and meaningful" as compared to multiple A rubric is a scoring tool for subjective assessments It is a set of Criteria and standards linked to learning
Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction. , Terry Bergeson, has identified the new 3 Rs from Robert Carkhuff's 3 Rs as Relating, Representing and Reasoning. Teresa "Terry" Bergeson is the three-term Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Carkhuff was a self-published consultant paid $1 million to provide materials to help design Washington State's controversial standards based education reform program. Education reform in the United States since the late 1980s has been largely driven by the setting of academic standards for what students should know and be able to do Terry Bergeson has pledged that that all would receive world class standards diplomas, yet one half of all students and three-quarters of minority students are on track to have their diplomas revoked in 2008 because they do not pass the new 3 Rs standard set by the WASL standards based assessment. Teresa "Terry" Bergeson is the three-term Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction. World class standards refers to the level of achievement mainly in math and science attained by students in the four countries that make up the East Asian Tigers; South Korea A standards based test is one based on the Outcome-based education or performance-based education philosophy While over half of US students will be required to pass similar High school graduation examinations, because of objections from parents and education experts, no more states have adopted such requirements and some have dropped them in 2006. According to a 2006 study by the Center on Education Policy two-thirds of the 15 million public high school students in the United States of America were required to pass a high school graduation Advocates of the traditional education question how students who struggle with basic skills can be expected to be more successful at higher developmental higher order thinking levels. Traditional education refers to long-established customs found in schools that society has traditionally deemed appropriate States like California abandoned similar standards in the late 1990s in favor of returning to basic skills.