Cursive writing making comeback in classrooms

New Jersey bill would require schools to teach cursive handwriting

It’s a familiar refrain. Parents lament that technology is turning good, legible handwriting into a lost art form for their kids.

In response, lawmakers in state after state — particularly in the South — are carving out space in teachers’ classroom time to keep the graceful loops of cursive writing alive for the next generation.

Alabama passed a law requiring it in 2016. That same year, Louisiana passed its own cursive law. Others like Arkansas, Virginia, California, Florida and North Carolina, have similar laws.

Texas is the latest state in which educators are pushing to bring back cursive writing in elementary schools.

The changes in the Lone Star State, which were adopted in 2017, are set to go into effect during the upcoming 2019-20 school year.

Each state’s curriculum differs in subtle ways. The road map described in the Texas Education Code, for instance, includes requirements for instruction to begin with teaching second-graders how to form cursive letters with the “appropriate strokes when connecting letters.”

Third-graders would focus on writing complete words, thoughts, and answers to questions, and fourth-graders would need to be able to complete their assignments outright in cursive.

DeEtta Culbertson, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, told CNN that previous education standards released in Texas, including in 2009, have included cursive writing, but the new standards set to go into effect added “more emphasis” on cursive.

Cursive is again becoming widespread across the South

Data compiled by the Southern Regional Education Board in 2016 showed that 14 of the 16 states the SREB oversees expect that cursive instruction begin by the third grade.

The year 2010 was a “pivotal year” for the cursive comeback, the SREB says. That’s when “college- and career-readiness standards did not explicitly include it,” including the national Common Core standards. The SREB showed the number of cursive-teaching states dropping from 12 down to six that year.

But by 2016, the flowing script has rebounded up to 14 Southern states. With another Southern state, Texas, coming on board that make 18 total in the US.

Advocates for handwriting have struggled against technological change

Anne Trubek, the author of “