Cursive Handwriting To Be Debated

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Andover third-graders are transitioning from block printing to cursive.

"Our goal is to teach our students to be effective communicators," said Assistant Superintendent of Academic Affairs for Andover Schools Jill Lachenmayer. "We do that in a multiple of ways: manuscript, cursive, keyboarding skills with technology."

In 2010, the State Board of Education adopted the Common Core of Standards for English. Those standards do not include required cursive writing.

"We have in research now that shows a lot of kids learning a lot more, retaining more and doing better on their tests, if they are actually writing it out in long hand and thinking while they are listening," said State Board Member Walt Chappell.

Chappell says while many people use computers and other technology to communicate, kids still need to learn to write.

We asked several Andover fourth-graders what they preferred.

"I'd write in print, it's easier for me," said Caleigh Haetten.

John David VanHook likes to write in cursive. "It's just faster to write in that way," he said. "If you print, you have to pick it up. If I write in cursive, I can just write fast."

State leaders surveyed all Kansas school districts, asking whether teachers are teaching cursive writing. Those results will be released to the State Board on Wednesday during its monthly meeting.

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