Indiana Schools Erase Cursive from the Curriculum

Filed under: In The News

cursive ban

Credit: Corbis

Cursive writing is sooo 20th century. In fact, kids in Indiana don't even bother with it anymore.

Who needs to know how to make swirly letters in this day and age? People can always just scrawl an X or draw a smiley face if they ever have to "sign" a contract.

Educators in Indiana found teaching cursive writing deprived children of valuable time better spent staring at a screen. Besides, as a form of communication, cursive is about as dead as Latin -- or talking to people face-to-face. So state officials eliminated it from the curriculum.

Now kids can focus on learning new emoticons since keyboarding has replaced cursive as a state requirement.

"I think it's progressive of our state to be ahead on this," Denna Renbarger, assistant superintendent for Lawrence Township schools, tells the Indianapolis Star. "There are a lot more important things than cursive writing."

The Star reports that governors of all but four states are collaborating on the Common Core Curriculum -- an effort to make education standards equal across state lines.

Sixth-grader Victoria Linde tells the Star this idea of putting words on paper just seems so strange to kids her age. She thinks kids should focus on keyboarding.

"It sounds more effective to me," she tells the newspaper. "Kids use computers more today."

But Linne Hurley, the mother of a sixth-grader, thinks dropping the requirement is a bad idea. She wonders how children will be able to read original historical documents or even the handwritten notes left behind by their ancestors.

"It's something that's going to be lost," she says.

Steve Graham, a nationally recognized expert on handwriting at Vanderbilt University, dismissed some of the arguments for cursive as "romantic." However, he tells the Star, educators are too hasty in thinking the only way to form words is with a keyboard.

"I don't care if it's cursive or manuscript, you need to be fluent and legible with at least one type of handwriting," Graham adds. "And you need to be fluent on the keyboard."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.