In my day, writing in cursive was an important step in my education from a little third grader to a grown up fourth or fifth grader. I remember writing most notes in cursive as I grew older until the proliferation of computers and the internet in the 1990s. Suddenly everyone typed block letters and they had spell check – So people also stopped spelling. We went from personal hand-written meaningful letters to haphazardly typed emails. Before long, people started abbreviating everything. Then came cell phones and texting which shortened the conversation even more. Once smart phones were introduced in 2008, everyone was already writing in block letters and abbreviations, and the art of cursive handwriting was fast becoming ancient history?
Today, most of us jot every handwritten note down in block letters, when only a decade ago we automatically used cursive. Today, most young students don’t even recognize cursive writing because it’s been slowly deleted from their curriculum thanks to Common Core. In 2010, the Obama administration initiated the federally mandated curriculum that completely changed the way ‘teachers teach’ and ‘students learn’. Many of the tried and true methods of teaching simply disappeared as far as the U.S. Board of Education was concerned under Obama.
One of the major things that disappeared from the curriculum was cursive writing. For some strange reason, Common Core did not include cursive hand writing as an important skill for American students. It’s ironic since all the most important documents in American history were written in cursive, including the Constitution of the United States.
As of the 2017 school year, only nine states have returned to a mandated curriculum that includes cursive writing instruction:
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
Ohio is presently pushing a Bill to require cursive writing and top administrators of the New York City school system (the largest district in America), are publicly supporting a mandate for New York State. Along with Ohio, only four other states are purported to openly teach cursive, but the evidence is spotty and it’s not mandated in the curriculum.
The strange thing is this is not a (left or right) political issue, since California and Alabama both have mandated the return of cursive writing in their schools. If your state doesn’t require cursive writing, contact your local school board and politicians to find out why and how to fix it. There’s something so American and beautiful about writing in cursive and it’s a tradition we shouldn’t let disappear.