Fewer States Are Doing the Write Thing When It Comes to Cursive

Thursday, July 07, 2011
Young Hoosiers won’t have to deal with turning in their assignments this fall in cursive, because the Indiana Department of Education has decided to eliminate the flowing handwriting style as a requirement.
Indiana became one of the latest of more than 40 states to dump cursive, electing instead to emphasize proficiency in keyboard use. No more flowing curves and fancy loops. No more need for handwriting camp. A blow to the science of handwriting analysis. A dark day for the National Handwriting Contest.
Indiana educators are taking to heart the freedom accorded to them by the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a nationwide effort to present a clear and consistent framework for teaching children. Forty-one states have adopted the initiative, which does not require cursive, although states are allowed the option of re-including it if they so choose. So far, only Massachusetts and California have done so.
Cursive is also not required on tests that rate schools under No Child Left Behind.
Some educators oppose the trend, pointing to the fact that quality handwriting still matters in the essay portions of the SAT and Advanced Placement exam. They also argue that those with good handwriting are more likely to be perceived as knowledgeable.
Cursive is nearly as old as writing itself. Even when Egyptians in the land of the Pharaohs were carving elaborate hieroglyphics in stone and metal to tell their tales publicly, they were communicating with each other by scrawling a cursive script on papyrus. The ancient Greeks used a form of cursive, as did Romans, Hebrews and the Japanese.
But none of them had texting or typing.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Ken Broder
Is Cursive Dead? (by Brian Palmer, Slate)


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