MERRILLVILLE – The days when Indianas elementary school students were required to perfect the looping script of cursive handwriting are ending.
Starting this fall, the state Department of Education will no longer require Indianas public schools to teach cursive writing. State officials sent school leaders a memo April 25 telling them that instead of cursive writing, students will be expected to become proficient in keyboard use.
The Times of Munster reports the memo says schools may continue to teach cursive as a local standard, or they may decide to stop teaching cursive altogether.
East Allen County Schools Superintendent Karyle Green said she didnt find the decision surprising.
The skill of handwriting is a dying art, she said. Everything isnt handwritten anymore.
The district will still teachcursive, albeit in a limited form, according to curriculum director Marilyn Hissong.
From now on, second-graders will be taught cursive. But students will no longer be assessed on the handwriting style in third and fourth grade.
We think its still important for kids to be able to read cursive, Hissong said. But after that, it begins to become obsolete.
Andree Anderson of the Indiana University Northwest Urban Teacher Education Program says teachers havent had the time to teach cursive writing for some time because its not a top priority. And Anderson says students handwriting is atrocious.
Devon Haynie of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.