USA Todat - As schools swap out old state standards for new Common Core academics, educators are warning about an overlooked casualty of progress – cursive handwriting.
They say that, because Common Core standards don't call for cursive instruction, public schools are more likely to drop or, at least, de-emphasize it. Their fears are not unfounded.
-- At least 41 states do not require public schools to teach cursive reading or writing.
-- Common Core is silent on cursive, but it prioritizes computer use and keyboarding skills because its tests are taken on computers. Even before Common Core, many schools, in response to No Child Left Behind laws, had already narrowed their curricula mostly to the subjects being tested by their states. Even in the 1990s, cursive writing got less and less instructional time, teachers said.
Earlier this year, bills were introduced in state legislatures in North and South Carolina, Indiana and Idaho mandating cursive instruction. In some cases, the bills were supported by companies that sell writing materials.
Jeffrey Mims Jr., a longtime educator who represents Butler and several other counties on the state school board, said closing the book on cursive could limit some children's futures. "I don't understand the need to eliminate it," he said.
"I think it's a basic element of students' control and peace of mind. You pay attention to what you're doing when you're writing in that format."