Cursive Writing Going Extinct in Illinois Classrooms

Illinois is among several states adopting "Common Core Standards"

By Rosie Powers
|  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 10:14 AM CDT
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Cursive Writing Going Extinct in Illinois Classrooms

It seems the keyboard has won its battle against the pen, at least in classrooms.

Illinois is one of 42 states no longer requiring elementary teachers to teach cursive writing. It's part of the "Common Core Standards," which aim to adjust learning requirements from a state-by-state basis to a national standard.

Among these standards is a provision for keyboarding efficiency.

"The goal is to have fewer, clearer and higher standards focused on college and career expectations," said ISBE Board Chair Jesse H. Ruiz in a statement. "Our Board supports these new standards because they are essential for our students, for their futures and for the future economy of Illinois."

The standards, which were adopted by Illinois on June 24, were derived from research conducted of teachers nationally in 2009. Teachers and educational administers provided feedback on each state's former standards, which were used to create the new national program.

The Indiana Department of Education sent a memo to educators across the state on April 25, officially giving them the option not to teach cursive in schools next year

"As we start preparing for assessment of those standards in a couple years, we have to look into what the Common Core has our students learning," said Lauren Schregardus, press secretary for the Indiana Department of Education. "It's happening nationally, they're trying to make it so that all state are touching on the same standards, so you can actually see how your state is doing on a national level."

While all grades K-12 have standards for students in English-language arts, reading, writing, speaking and mathematics, the requirements for grades 6-12 have additional sections in history, social studies and science.

The standards have a specific provision for promoting student knowledge and production of technological media.

"They do test computer skills at a young age," Schregardus said. "Technology has become a dominant force in our lives, and moving forward students need to understand and grow with it as well."

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