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Opening Arguments

Cursive, foiled again!

Lost cause of the day:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A longtime supporter of requiring Indiana schools to teach cursive writing is making her fifth attempt to restore the skill to Indiana's curriculum.


Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, added the measure to an education bill moving through the General Assembly on Wednesday after a cursive writing bill she sponsored earlier in the session failed.

[. . .]

The Indiana State Board of Education voted in 2011 to eliminate cursive as a requirement for student instruction and told school districts that it expected students to become proficient in keyboard use. Many districts nationally did the same when they adopted the national Common Core educational standards, which omitted penmanship classes for a variety of reasons, including increasing use of keyboarding and evidence that even most adults use some hybrid of classic cursive and print.

I'm not so crazy about making it mandatory. I'm old school enough to still think such decisions belong at the local level. But I do agreee with her that it's a shame cursive is being dropped by so many schools. Sure, most of us mix cursive and print in our scribblings, but how could we sign our names without cursive? Would love notes look as good with printed or -- horrors! -- typed letters? And I suspect something is missing from our learning if cursive is skipped. Getting the sense of letters linked together to form words -- which cursive gives us but pring does not -- helps our cognitive skills.