From a Los Angeles Times editorial on Wednesday:
For all the new things that schools will be called on to teach under the soon-to-be-implemented Common Core curriculum standards, its a skill that has been omitted that is causing controversy: cursive writing. Good old script penmanship isnt part of the standards, which have been adopted by 45 states. Common Core focuses on analytical and computer-based skills rather than the long hours of practice required to link letters in a flowing style. Testing, note-taking and writing for academia and business are increasingly accomplished via keyboard, not pencil or pen and legal pad.
Several states have kept requirements for cursive instruction (North Carolina passed a law this year requiring it). But many others appear ready for its demise.
Of course, everyone needs to be able to write without computers. But longhand printing generally works fine.
Some educators claim that cursive writing plays a role in brain and overall academic development; others disagree and say studies actually show that any form of hand lettering, including print, engages more of the brain than keyboarding does.
When society adds new skills and new knowledge to the list of things public schools teach, some other items have to come off the list. Otherwise, the result is a curriculum that is a mile wide and an inch deep. Cursive might be one skill that can be painlessly dropped to make way for new ones.
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