For the past few years, many educators around the United States have debated the decision of whether or not it is necessary to continue teaching cursive handwriting in elementary schools seeing as most classes are now being taught with computers. The decision left independently to each school, one may worry about the education of future generations and what effects may take place if classic standards are removed from the school system, replaced with a modern and technological way of teaching. Many parents have brought forth their own thoughts of concern by blogging online, speaking to educators and even protesting in order to preserve the traditional guidelines for the English language.
Until the 1920’s, cursive was the standard style of writing in America’s educational system. It was then that what is now known as print handwriting was first taught in schools, educators theorizing that children learn to read by looking at manuscript in printed books. By World War II, both forms of cursive and print handwriting were required in all American schools. Until recently, children usually learned print in kindergarten and cursive by the second or third-grade. From this time and into high school, students continually received what were once regarded as necessary skills for their future lives. There were also once stricter standards for legible handwriting skills, which is not the case any longer (Time.com, 2009).
Illegible handwriting, once harshly discredited by teachers, enabling students to improve their skills is no longer a necessary teaching requirement. Many educators fear that the decline of handwriting has been caused by standardized testing brought forth since the No Child Left Behind Act started in 2002. Linda Garcia, a teacher for 32 years, in Illinois has witnessed what she calls the lost art of handwriting, has stated, “"If something isn't on a test, it's viewed as a luxury. It's getting harder and harder to balance what's on the test with the rest of what children need to know. Reading is on there, but handwriting isn't, so it's not as important.”(Time.com, 2009) Just as legible handwriting is no longer required in some schools, Forty-one states now abide by the Common Core State Standards for English, where cursive curriculum is not mandatory, the decision to continue this once traditional skill depending on each school (Corestandards.org, ).
While many believe that the removal of cursive curriculum in schools would be a terrible decision, there are those who disagree and believe that cursive handwriting is an outdated form of writing. The majority of schools have begun to favor computer mediated curriculum, providing typing programs for second-graders instead of simple pencil and cursive worksheets. There are many reasons for this decision, such as educators gaining more time that is lost due to teaching cursive classes. Susana Cordova, the chief academic officer of Denver Public Schools told the Denver Post, “In many...