Delaware News

District to continue to teach cursive writing

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English and language arts teachers are cringing after learning cursive writing is no longer mandatory for classroom curriculum.

Paul Craft, Delaware City Schools superintendent, said a lot of teachers have told him they believe the transition to not teaching cursive in the classroom is the loss of something great.

"We all remember learning cursive in the classroom and having to write papers in cursive," Craft said. "I have heard from people that just hate the thought of it coming out of the curriculum."

On the other side of the issue, Craft said he remembers learning shorthand in high school as part of the curriculum, before graduating in 1983.

"We learned shorthand on typewriters as part of our curriculum," he said. "Of course, now you would struggle to even find a typewriter."

However, Craft said with the number of additions to the curriculum and the seldom use of cursive writing in this day and age, something had to be cut.

"They are adding a lot of things to the curriculum such as keyboarding," he said. "We can't keep everything and continue to add other things."

Craft said there are valuable things to glean from still continuing to teach cursive, regardless if it is in the curriculum or not.

The district will continue to teach it in their classrooms, although it's not mandatory.

"The two most important things for teaching cursive to students is for them to have the ability to recognize cursive letters and have the ability to sign their name," Craft said.

In addition, they still want students to be able to look at historical documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, and be able to make sense out of it.

"Although I can't remember the last time I wrote a note in cursive, cursive is still a part of our culture," Craft said.

"For example, cursive script is still a font choice in our computer programs," Craft said.

Even though it's not a requirement for schools to teach cursive and it won't be on assessments, district officials said they still believe it's a necessary skill for students to have in order for them to maximize their potential.

"Not everything that matters will be tested and not everything tested matters," Craft said.

"We will continue to grow our kids and teach them what we believe will help them be successful.

"The test scores will take care of themselves," he said.

Craft said students will learn how to legibly sign their name in cursive and be able to recognize cursive writing.

"We believe that may be all they need to be successful going forward," he said. "These students will not be fluent in writing cursive, but that isn't a mandatory skill."

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