We’ll give you three chances to guess what skill has been eliminated from the curriculum in most U.S. elementary school classrooms.
It’s not reading, and it’s not arithmetic... It’s writing — in cursive, specifically.
“The new Common Core State Standards, a set of national benchmarks for American public schools, do not require students to learn cursive,” noted The New York Times in 2013. “As a result, states and districts are grappling with whether to teach this skill.”
Not surprisingly, in the five technologically explosive years since, teaching script has been going extinct faster than you can say No. 2 pencil.
Many argue that in today’s (and tomorrow’s) swipe and type society, teaching swirly penmanship is hardly worth teachers’ time and resources. Do students even benefit from acquiring an archaic skill?
Some say yes. Advocates claim learning cursive is vital. Among other things, it helps kids with dyslexia, preserves tradition, enables students to read historic documents like the Constitution, contributes to better writing and spelling, teaches them how to sign their name to documents, and is linked to higher test scores. One study even found that “children with neater handwriting developed better reading and math skills than their chicken-scratch peers.”
Of course, in the age of AI, even chicken scratch will go the way of the dodo.