States fight to save cursive handwriting

New curriculum standards are threatening traditional penmanship, and educators and lawmakers are rebelling.

By InvestorPlace Nov 15, 2013 2:24PM

Image: A green chalkboard with the alphabet written on it © Ocean/Corbis /CorbisBy Christopher Freeburn

It might be a sign of the times.

Under new federal educational guidelines, 45 states have halted efforts to teach cursive handwriting to students. Cursive is being abandoned as students rely increasingly on computers, tablets and other means of digital communication.

So while cursive is out, typing is in under the new Common Core curriculum standards that are being adopted nationwide.

However, the change isn’t sitting well with all teachers.

In seven states, educators and lawmakers are opposing the shift away from cursive, UPI reports.

The idea that students would lose the ability to read cursive writing -- in which many historical documents are written -- has prompted a push to restore cursive instruction to schools in California, Indiana, Idaho, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, Utah and Kansas.

One North Carolina state representative leading a legislative effort to restore cursive to the state’s curriculum discussed the issue late last month, saying, “We’re still using (cursive) in everyday things.”

The Common Core isn't abandoning handwriting altogether -- the curriculum does provide for regular block-letter writing.

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Nov 15, 2013 3:55PM
Okay, first we do away with cursive handwriting, then what?  We do away with traditionally spelled words?  LIke "u" instead of "you"?  This is not a product of obsolescence, it's a product of lazy, undisciplined people.  Cursive handwriting conveys more than simple, written communication.  It communicates character, artistic ability, style, self-discipline, and it allows one to write more quickly than attempting to print.  Oh, that's right, we don't do that any more, we can only press keys on a keyboard and images on a screen.  I think this kind of change just reinforces a trend that is "dumbing-down" our students.  Personally, I have found, being right-handed, that writing cursive left-handed is incredibly relaxing and therapeutic.  But then, that is my opinion:<)
Nov 15, 2013 3:56PM
I have often wondered how anyone will sign a contract in 20 years when they haven't been taught how to write cursive.
Nov 15, 2013 3:57PM
Thanks to the educated idiots who dream up these ideas, the children are not taught History that  helped build our Nation. No Pledge of allegiance etc. So not teaching students cursive only proves that the continuation of the dumbing down of our Children is not a myth. Try to get anyone under 25 that can count change back to you at a register when checking out, they just hand it back and say ,there is your change.
Nov 15, 2013 4:03PM
So how will anyone have a signature, if they don't know what their name looks like in cursive?
Nov 15, 2013 4:20PM
You want to really get a laugh someday? Ask a kid to read a clock with hands - not digital. They can't do it. They have no idea how to. For the next big laugh, ask a teacher where the first nuke was dropped - I have been told NY, China, Russia, Germany - everywhere but Japan.
Nov 15, 2013 4:11PM
We already are producing a country of idiots. Now the idiots won't be able to read. How are they going to sign important papers or checks? Put an  - X? Boy, that will be hard to forge. They already can't tell you what 2 + 2 is without a calculator.
Nov 15, 2013 4:08PM
Best reason to teach cursive?  Ask your kid to write a simple sentence without a computer.  
Nov 15, 2013 4:29PM
My kids are 22 years old, went to a private school (only because I work there) and are now seniors in college.  They were never taught cursive in elementary school, and now, they cannot read a shopping list if I 'write' it out....I have to print it for them to read it.  How sad is that??  They even said they wished that they had learned it in school.
Nov 15, 2013 3:46PM
People who can only read or write in "block letters" tend to be less educated than people who use cursive writing.  It really shows when I'm reading a job application where the only thing not in block letters is their signature which usually is an illegible scrawl.  Yeah, they probably don't need to know how to write or read cursive, they will never use it unless one day they might want to read the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or the Gettysburg Address.  Since most of the youth today are willing to blindly follow the gov't they probably will not need those documents or care about the rights contained therein.  They also can do away with spelling skills since they only communicate in text abbreviations.
Nov 15, 2013 4:34PM

Signatures are important identifiers.  Everyone should learn cursive period.


Nov 15, 2013 4:35PM
Well IF all students use today are computers, tablets and such, WHY do we teach them math skills either. Hell, they can just look it up?? Right?  No need for geography, science, foreign languages, etc.etc.!!! They can graduate by the time they are 12!!!
Nov 15, 2013 4:31PM
It is important to learn to read and write cursive.  Once the person knows they can determine if they want to use it or not and they definitely will need it when signing their names.  A person's writing is unique.  Are we all going to become robots? 
Nov 15, 2013 4:34PM
Hey Sheep , Another Clue for you that the United States is headed into the crapper .Since the 80's Parents cant be Parents and Teachers Cant Teach. And you wonder why all these shootings and all the garbage has been floating to the top. Eat Up.. Government will have more crap to cram down your throats soon.
Nov 15, 2013 4:07PM
How do people who can't read and write cursive write a thank you note?  How do they read their Grandmother's recipes?  Probably to lazy to learn Latin too.
Nov 15, 2013 3:54PM
Our education program is already so "watered down" as of late....why not just add some more water!! 
Nov 15, 2013 4:37PM
A good portion of students these days can't even find their own state or city or town on a map. It's no wonder people are so stupid these days. Also listen to the news sometime. There is no tense to words anymore. He pleaded. Sorry, it's plead. People can't count either.
Nov 15, 2013 4:34PM

No civics classes, no history, no handwriting until finally, no public schools.,


That is the goal of the wealthy elites like the Koch Brothers.  Only the elites get an education and then only the elites will be able to run the country.  We lower classes will be too stupid to defend our most basic rights.


Keep defunding public education and that is our future.

Nov 15, 2013 4:37PM
In 5 years kids won't know how to read English. What about signatures on legal documents? There are other things that could be cut from elementary school curriculum that would not harm our children's ability to function in society. This is just another example of what happens when we leave programs to be dictated by the government. I would think that we would learn that some things are better left to local control by the people who will live with the circumstances of their decisions.
Nov 15, 2013 4:39PM
When a society suggests certain things no longer need to be learned at all, we become a lesser society.  People of all ages should always be learning more.  Learn an instrument for the first time at 30, a new language at 40, cursive at 8...

Cutting out learning is not a good thing.

Nov 15, 2013 4:43PM

There have been studies that show that the motions needed to write in cursive aid in brain development in kids. Regardless of whether or not the schools teach it, my kids will learn it. I hate writing in cursive, but that doesnt mean its not useful. I also hate parallel parking and doing multiplication and division in my head. Just because a car can do it for me and my cell phone has a calculator doesn't mean I shouldn't know how to do them. I feel sorry for kids that are going through the education system. They're being deprived of practical skills due to budget cuts.

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