Why cursive writing got the boot? By Prudence Williams

As a teacher, I have become painfully aware that the standards of many states have stop requiring the instruction of how to read and write in cursive. So now I have kids in my classes who are really smart and incredibly inquisitive but who struggle to read basic notes off the board because I slip into cursive writing with little thought and great ease. I mean, when I’m in my flow teaching, and we are making connections between the electron cloud and ionic bonds or when I’m illustrating why nonmetals share, not give away electrons; and I see my students having that “Ahhhh, I get it!” moment, I will write in cursive in 4 different colors and not even think about it! I’m excited and they are too! We’re learning!

It’s only later, and with a lot of irritation, that I realize that some kid(s) didn’t write the notes or that they copied the notes inaccurately because they could write fast enough in print or don’t read cursive. And I think, “Why don’t you know this third grade skill!”

And I’m not the only teacher that feels this way! Many teachers, parents, and students don’t understand why cursive writing is no longer taught. Some parents have taken it upon themselves to teach their students the skill. My own son, when he was in the 5th grade, asked for cursive tracer sheets to learn to sign his name because he felt it was a necessary adult skill. I even know middle school teachers who use any available down time to teach the skill, and the kids don’t complain; they love it!

I did a little research on why cursive writing got the boot and learned that technology was deemed more relevant than tradition. Electronic signature, digital correspondence, and the decreasing use of paper and pencil in education and business, lead to the decision that just reading and writing plain print was enough….

But I’m an American citizen, and I just believe that if the majority of the citizen feel that learning to write in cursive is important (and based on most blogs, articles, and podcasts I view and hear, it is the overwhelming American opinion), then it is important! And our elected officials should listen to the populous and require it in all curricula! Just that simple! It’s an educational standard that the people say is important, so our Congress persons should hear us and make it LAW! Thank you, that’s all!

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