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LITTLE ROCK — All that's needed to return cursive writing classes to Arkansas classrooms is a signature by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

The state Senate on Thursday gave final legislative approval to a bill requiring public schools to teach cursive to students by the end of the third grade.

The measure passed on a 30-1 vote. Sen. Bruce Maloch, D-Magnolia, said he supports cursive classes but believes it's a matter for the Education Department, not lawmakers.

A number of districts dropped handwriting instructions after Arkansas adopted Common Core standards for math and English. Teachers have said some districts opted to drop cursive to concentrate on other parts of their curricula.

Hutchinson has used cursive to sign other bills passed this session.


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Archived Comments

  • RestoftheStory
    February 19, 2015 at 2:44 p.m.

    Finally, some lawmakers with a little common sense instead of common core. Everybody needs to know how to write. Thank you!

  • mhck52
    February 19, 2015 at 9:45 p.m.

    "Hutchinson has used cursive to sign other bills passed this session." Of course he has. What a dumb thing to say. How do you sign something without using cursive writing? How can future adults sign their name if they can't write cursive? Lazy teacher is what it is.

  • KateGladstone
    March 3, 2015 at 7:19 a.m.

    Handwriting matters — but research finds that legible cursive writing averages no faster than legible printed handwriting. (Sources for research are available on request.) The fastest, clearest handwriters join some letters, not all: joining the most easily joined letters, leaving others unjoined, using print-like shapes for letters whose printed and cursive shapes disagree.

    Reading cursive matters — and can be taught in 30-60 minutes, once children read print. (Even a free iPad app, “Read Cursive,” teaches how.)

    Educated adults quit cursive. In 2012, cursive publisher Zaner-Bloser surveyed handwriting teachers. Only 37% wrote cursive; 8% printed. Most — 55% — combined elements of print-writing and cursive.
    Why glorify a cursive that even most handwriting teachers don’t follow?

    What about signatures? Brace yourself: in state and federal law, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over any other kind. (Hard to believe? Ask any attorney!)

    Mandating cursive to save handwriting resembles mandating stovepipe hats and crinolines to save tailoring.

    Kate Gladstone • 518-482-6763
    DIRECTOR, World Handwriting Contest
    CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works