The editors of The Dallas Morning News are applauding efforts across the country to ensure that cursive writing is taught in their schools. However, the editors’ contention that “cursive writing took another blow when most states adopted Common Core curriculum standards, which no longer required teaching it in public schools,” could not be further from the truth.
The idea that implementing high, comparable standards somehow meant schools had to drop cursive teaching is an old myth created by opponents of Common Core State Standards. While the standards don’t explicitly require students to learn cursive, they don’t discourage it. And as states have continued to build on the Common Core framework, many have reintroduced cursive requirements.
The Dallas Morning News would also have you believe that high standards don’t allow cursive in the classrooms because “it takes precious time away from other subjects deemed more crucial in a world ruled by computers, laptops and smartphones.” Simply not true. Implementing high, consistent standards doesn’t mean students should not be exposed to many of the same things their parents learned in school.
In fact, the standards are designed specifically to give states and districts the ability to make adjustments, like the inclusion of cursive handwriting, to ensure their students’ needs are met.
Don’t blame the pursuit of high standards for states’ initial retreat away from cursive writing instruction.