Saturday, September 19, 2009


South Carolina school banned Confederate clothing. A student sued and had her case dismissed because her attorneys did not provide sufficient evidence for her claim. The district deemed the clothing as disruptive.

In classrooms across the country, cursive writing is taking a back seat to reading, writing, math and other curricular needs. Texting, email and other 21st century skills have taken over the need for cursive writing. Students just don't use it any longer and many cannot read it. Studies show that most adults use a print-cursive hybrid. I either print exclusively or use a print-cursive hybrid. I never use cursive only except in my signature and it is stylized and doesn't follow cursive convention anyway.

Who hand writes letters, college entrance essays, research papers and the like anymore? I still write thank you notes, but I print them.


Jeremy D. Young said...

I read this article today, and remembered your post.

My daughters have cursive drilled into them starting in 2nd grade. Not sure what the norm is.

Jack said...


The questions we should be asking are:

What are we teaching when we teach (or chose not to teach) cursive?

Does cursive writing deserve the intensity it was given 20 years ago?

What value does cursive writing have on society?

How does it help my child to become an involved citizen who can govern him or herself?

How does it affect our great democracy?

Does cursive writing lead to an independent thinker?

How does cursive writing affect communication in the 21st Century?

Can we construct a letter, poem, essay, play, manifest, novel, manual, or other writing without cursive?

If I am stranded on an island will I have access paper and pencil so I can write? Perhaps we should instruct all students in the art of tanning leather, making papyrus and paper so that if they are ever stranded on that island, they can write that poem.

Can I write a poem in print rather than cursive?

Jeremy D. Young said...

I wanted to respond more thoroughly, but the main point is that the Government shouldn't be deciding the answers to all of your questions. Each parent has that right, and responsibility.

psst... Republic, not Democracy, and that has nothing to do with political parties.

Jack said...

That sounds fine in theory, but how does that play out in the real world? Do we have parents coming into the classroom every day and saying what their child will and will not learn? That won't work.

Even in the case of private schools, you have someone else making those decisions (school board).

Having national standards for what children should know should not be a problem.

If parents have that big of control issues, then they can homeschool and teach their kids whatever they want.

Jeremy D. Young said...

At minimum each school district should have the ability to control that separate from state or national organizations.

What are we teaching when we teach cursive? -- Not everyone has to teach it for the same reasons. When it's not made at such a broad level, the decision has narrower impact, and no one but the involved people (parent, teacher, and child) have to consider the consequences.

I think all the rest of the questions have the same answer. Freedom works wonderfully.