Indiana Schools Saying Good-bye to Cursive

Most people remember learning how to write in cursive back in elementary school. But now, children in Indiana’s school systems will no longer be required to learn to write in cursive, as Indiana’s Department of Education will make it optional for schools to teach this style of handwriting.

Instead, the department is focusing on students’ keyboard use. Indiana will enforce more typing programs because it makes more sense in our day and age, as computers become a larger part of our professional lives.

State officials sent school leaders a memo April 25 telling them that instead of cursive writing, students will be expected to become proficient in keyboard use.

The memo says schools may continue to teach cursive as a local standard, or they may decide to stop teaching cursive altogether. One might ask how will each district be effected by budget considerations in the future when considering whether to continue teaching cursive writing.

The state is moving from Indiana Academic Standards, which includes cursive writing in third grade, to national Common Core standards, which do not include cursive writing at all.

Most states have adopted the Common Core standards, which aim to create consistent national benchmarks for all students, regardless of their home state. To see if your state is one that has adopted the Common Core standards, click here.

The problems arising from students not being taught to write cursive should be considered. For instance, How will Indiana’s students know how to sign their name? When you’re born, someone signs your birth certificate. When you’re married, you have to sign your marriage license. When you die, someone’s going to sign your death certificate. All these things are important aspects of your life.

A more immediate problem for students is the fact that the SAT test and Advanced Placement exams call for handwritten essays.

Additionally, Karen Goeller, deputy superintendent of the Vigo County School Corp says, the SAT test and Advanced Placement exams call for handwritten essays. “Speed and legibility are keys to success.”

Also, research has shown that handwriting does make a difference in the perception of a student’s knowledge and ideas. Legible handwriting may improve a student test score, while messy handwriting may detract from the writer’s ideas, she said.

She noted that some employers consider cursive handwriting as important in day-to-day work.

Learning to use a keyboard is important in 21st Century education, but until you find a way to sign your name on a form with it, you might also need to know how to write.

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3 thoughts on “Indiana Schools Saying Good-bye to Cursive

  1. I actually posted the link to Indiana’s decision on Cursive writing on my blog in a recent post on the Common Core movement and I agree with you that it is an interesting topic for discussion. In NY it is funny that the topic my teachers are focusing on is the fact that grammar is back as a standard when it was gone for school long (yes, NY decided it was not important to teach basic grammar like the differences between “their, there and they’re.”) rather then the handwriting one. Maybe it is because handwriting has for so long not been a focus. So my two cents worth of having several years of students who have not learned cursive is that believe it or not, many of them self teach. Many of them develop their own version of how to write in a script like manner to sign their name and most of them have decent handwriting. Much like when we were in school, some kids had great handwriting and some didn’t. In many ways that has not changed.

    What we have found to be more difficult is the fact that many of our students are so used to using a short hand type of language and vocabulary on their cellphones, facebook, and other tech based forms of communication that teaching them to codeswitch between standard and informal English has become so important, almost as important as how to write their letters. But that is for another blog post 🙂

  2. I am truly appalled the lack of common sense show in decisions made by the Indiana Dept of Education. What in the world are you people thining!???? This is a decision that should be left to parents not the idiots running the Dept. of Education. The Public Schools in this country are being undermined and destroyed by people that have no idea what they are doing and are obviously not very intelligent and obviously don’t have the best interest of the children in this country at stake. My son teaches High School and you are destroying public schools. Wake up. I never thought I would encourage my children to enroll their children in private schools no wonder the private sector has more success with their children, religion has remained important as well as discipline and common sense and what is best for the children, You all make me physically ill!! You are destroying this country one child at a time! You should all be ashamed. If this is progress I am noit interested and certainly am against my tax dollars going toward this atrocity!!

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