WATCH: Texas is Bringing Cursive Back to Schools
Elementary school students across Texas will be required to learn cursive starting in September.
There was a time when every American student was expected to learn how to write in cursive. It’s a skill that’s fallen out of favor in recent decades, but one Southern state is looking to bring it back.
Texas has announced its plan to reintroduce cursive writing to the state curriculum for elementary students beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.
According to the updated Texas Education Code, second graders will learn how to write cursive letters, and third graders will be expected to "write complete words, thoughts, and answers legibly in cursive writing leaving appropriate spaces between words.” By the time they reach the fourth grade, students will be required to “write legibly in cursive to complete assignments.”
WCNC reports that the State Board of Education modified the "English Language Arts and Reading" section of Texas’ standard education requirements, known as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or TEKS in 2017. The instruction of cursive writing will be implemented in schools in September 2019.
Diane Schallert, a professor with the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, likens cursive to another language. She told WCNC that learning a language of any kind can be valuable for someone's growth.
"With language comprehension, there's this reciprocity between producing and comprehending," Schallert explain. "By seeing the letter being formed slowly at your control, you're considering its sound-symbol correspondence."
A recent study by Bic found that these days, 25% of the United States student population is not proficient in handwriting. And being able to write things by hand is a big part of effective learning—not to mention proper thank you note etiquette.
We have no doubt that reintroducing cursive into an education system will be a struggle, but hopefully it’s one that will pay off for the next generation of Texans.