Should cursive writing be required? A N.C. bill would mandate it

(By Darwin Weigel/The Calvert…)
(By Darwin Weigel/The Calvert Recorder)

Are we headed to a “back to basics” movement?

A bill actually called “Back to Basics”  in the North Carolina House of Representatives would make cursive writing part of the curriculum for elementary school students who are, instead, expert at texting and tweeting and doing everything else on a screen, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Why was the bill introduced?

The main sponsor, state Rep. Pat Hurley, an Asheboro Republican, was quoted as saying:

Every child should know cursive. Our children can’t write a simple sentence. They think printing their name is their signature.

Cursive writing has been given short shrift in schools around the country for years as students do more work, both at home and in class, on computers. Some academics and educators say that writing in print, or manuscript, is just as good as cursive; others argue that cursive spurs creativity.

This issue became something of a big deal in North Carolina as a result of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, which don’t mention cursive writing — although they don’t stop any school from teaching it.

Hurley told the Observer that a survey she took of schools revealed that many traditional public schools weren’t teaching cursive, although private schools and charter schools were.

So what do you think?

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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Valerie Strauss · February 22, 2013