Cursive going the way of the dinosaur in some schools

8:41 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
(AP file)
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HOPE MILLS, NC (CNN) -- Cursive? What's cursive?

That's a question more and more kids are bound to ask, as schools across the nation drop cursive handwriting instruction from their curriculum.

The majority of U.S. states have adopted national common core standards, which don't require schools to teach it.

At least we found a pencil in every hand. A good, old-fashioned #2, pressed down one letter at a time.

The only cursive found in Lynn Dingwell's third grade class was on a how-to poster, each stroke numbered as if teaching a dance.

[Reporter]: "Are you still teaching the third graders cursive?"

"No. I'm not," said Dingwell.

Nobody at Ed Baldwin Elementary is required to teach it.

"We spend a lot more time in the computer lab. So they're learning Word and word processing as opposed to cursive handwriting," said Dingwell.

[Reporter]: "Is that kind of sad?"

"Actually it is," said Dingwell.

Cursive is like putting a waltz to writing.

Michael Ray Smith, a communications professor at Campbell University, says there's more to cursive than elegance.

"It's motor skills. It's cognitive skills. It's left to right. It's interactive. You make those loops and one loop connects with the other loop. At least a higher order of thinking. One idea connects to another idea," said Smith.

But some educators say classroom time is at a premium to meet common core standards.

"Our goal for that is to have boys and girls at the end of 12th gradecollege and career ready. I challenge you to find a college or career that requires cursive writing," said Sue Moody, instructional coach.

So WRAL-TV asked third grader Xenia Glascow if she could do it.

"Uhhh, kind of. My grandma is teaching me," said Gascow.

[Reporter]: "Your grandma is teaching you? Is it hard?"

"Mmm, yes," she said.

Next door, in the kindergarten class, the teacher wore a funny hat that seems to spell out the fate of cursive.

The hat is a dinosaur.


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