"Back To Basics" Bill Would Require Cursive Handwriting

In addition to requiring cursive writing, the “Back to Basics” bill would require that public school students “memorize multiplication tables to demonstrate competency in efficiently multiplying numbers.”

North Carolina’s elementary school students could soon have to master a more old-fashioned craft: writing in cursive.

A bill introduced in the state House this week would once again make cursive handwriting a part of the curriculum in state elementary schools, reports the Charlotte Observer. The “Back to Basics” bill also would require elementary students to memorize multiplication tables, though state education officials say that’s already part of the curriculum.

North Carolina’s move to bring back cursive comes at a time when other states from California to Massachusetts also are trying to revive what’s become a lost skill.

Traditionalists have bemoaned how cursive has been getting less attention in North Carolina public schools for years, even though it was officially part of the curriculum in grades three through five.

But this school year, cursive supporters became more upset when North Carolina became one of 45 states to implement the “Common Core” standards in language arts and mathematics. Common Core – aimed at providing uniformity in what’s being taught in classrooms nationally – doesn’t mention cursive.

The backlash over the lack of cursive in Common Core has resulted in California, Georgia and Massachusetts reinstituting cursive as a requirement. Such legislation is being considered in Indiana and Idaho.

If passed, the bill would go into effect next fall if approved, says that public schools should be required “to provide instruction in cursive writing so that students create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting by the end of fifth grade.”




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