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Ancient Art? Teachers Nationwide Fight To Keep Cursive In Classroom

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EDGEWATER, Md. (WJZ) — In the nation’s fast-paced, technology-driven classrooms, one old-fashioned skill may be going by the wayside. Cursive writing was dropped when scores of schools adopted new federal guidelines this year.

But as Gigi Barnett explains, some teachers are fighting to keep cursive.

It’s a skill that takes practice.

“You don’t need to do it exactly every day. But I would recommend doing it every now and then,” a student said.

But cursive may soon disappear from schools nationwide. Blame it on a new set of federal teaching guidelines called the Common Core. It dropped cursive, because the wave of the future is typing.

But now, some teachers in the 45 states that have picked up the Common Core want cursive to stick around.

“It makes me sad. How do you read other people’s writing when they write notes to you? How do you sign your name?” said teacher Beth Burke.

Burke is a reading teacher at Central Elementary in Edgewater. While the writing style is still part of Maryland’s curriculum, she says getting rid of the old-fashioned penmanship would affect other areas of learning that keyboarding can’t produce.

“It increases the speed and efficiency of their writing. It also taps into different of the brain. It stimulates the more creative side,” Burke said. “It does make kind of cringe a little bit to think that we’re raising a generation that won’t be able to sign their names.”

Cursive is still taught in Maryland, but students are not graded or tested on their penmanship. Meanwhile, about seven states are fighting to keep cursive. They include Massachusetts, Kansas and North Carolina.

Researchers say students who write in cursive have higher SAT scores.

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