Cursive handwriting: Should it be mandatory in schools?

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A signature is something most people know how to do, but is it something that future generations might not? Cursive writing is getting less attention in schools but one lawmaker in Indiana is trying to change that.

The loops and curly letter q’s of cursive writing is something that’s been taught forever in schools.

“If you can think back to the Declaration of Independence and the people who signed their name, did it with cursive,” said Lafayette School Corporation Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Karen Combs. “It’s just always been part of what schools have done.”

But teaching cursive isn’t a priority in most Hoosier schools and the third grade right of passage is being challenged by technology.

“Students are always using a computer or an iPhone,” said Democratic State Rep. Sheila Klinker. “That’s when students forget that they have to learn to write.”

Combs said she’s all for cursive writing but has a concern.

“All it does is take away time from what the legislature has told us its purpose is,” said Combs.

Her concern, taking time away from prepping for ISTEP which, only tests reading and math, and since ISTEP grades schools and teachers based off of scores teaching cursive isn’t a top priority.

“There is no place on the school grade for cursive,” said Combs.

If the trend continues, future generations may squint at documents like the constitution. That’s why State Sen. Jean Leising proposed Senate Bill 73 to make cursive mandatory in schools.

“She felt that children were missing out not really practicing and learning cursive writing,” said Klinker. “And that it needs to be used and we need to be able to read it.”

But getting the bill through both the House and Senate may be a challenge.

“Senator Leising did this so that many teachers and administrators would say yes, we really need to do this,” said Klinker.

The speed of technology is what many crave but the loop to loop writing may stick around.

The proposed legislation was passed by the Education and Career Development Committee last week and now the bill will go on to be heard by the full senate.

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