Reddit | TheHayKing

Texas Will Now Require Elementary Students To Learn Cursive

Growing up, the kids in my class had this strange, flaky relationship with cursive writing. We started off printing, but by third and fourth grade, our teachers made it clear that we had to learn cursive.

After all, they said, it was the only style of writing that our teachers would accept from here on out.

However, that generally wasn't the case. Whether we liked writing in cursive or not, we found that most of our teachers didn't care how we wrote assignments as long as they could read our answers.

My experiences seem common and cursive has largely fallen out of fashion, but as far as the Texas Board of Education is concerned, that's not happening without a fight.

Back in 2017, the board changed the "English Language Arts and Reading" requirements for the state's education standards.

Reddit | zaibas552

Most of these standards — known as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills — are obviously necessary to help elementary school students develop language skills, but one change caught more eyes than usual.

Namely, Texas schools will start teaching cursive writing again.

Reddit | kondurkarmanohar

As WCNC reported, the transition into this handwriting style will begin in the second grade, where kids will start learning to adjust how they write letters and words.

By third grade, these children will be expected to "write complete words, thoughts, and answers legibly with appropriate spaces between words."

Reddit | rexbovum

And unlike the inconsistent requirements of yesteryear, this emphasis on cursive will expand to the fourth grade, where students will have to complete full assignments in that style.

As for why the Texas Board of Education sees fit to re-instate cursive, Professor Diane Schallert of the University of Texas has some insights.

Reddit | wygibmer

Although she told WCNC that she was only taught cursive in the first grade and beyond, any support she has for this idea doesn't just come from fondness and nostalgia.

As far as Schallert is concerned, learning a language in any style of handwriting is a big part of a child's development.

Reddit | TheHayKing

As she put it, "With language comprehension, there's this reciprocity between producing and comprehending. By seeing the letter being formed slowly at your control, you're considering its sound-symbol correspondence."

Schallert also pointed out that the decision to bring cursive back likely didn't come easily.

Reddit | azeckie

As she said, "There's only so much time in the day. Whatever you decide to put into the curriculum, you're deciding to take something out. It's a big decision to decide to exclude it or include it. That's hard."

For this reason, some commenters felt that the return of cursive wasn't the most valuable use of class time.

Instagram | @karliekloss

As Jay Wallis of KVUE reported in a Facebook video, some figured that, given the role of technology in our world, teaching children to code and letting them print may better prepare them for the future than writing in cursive.

Others agreed with the decision and wondered why schools ever stopped teaching it in the first place.

Reddit | pthorton

Regardless, all Texas school districts started to feature cursive writing in the curriculum during the past (2019/2020) school year.

h/t: WCNC