Fewer students learn cursive handwriting

Cursive handwriting not in Common Core State Standards

Published On: Feb 27 2013 01:47:08 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 27 2013 05:00:00 PM EST
MIRAMAR, Fla. -

Fewer students are learning how to write in cursive.

"I can read it just fine, but writing is a struggle," said 17-year-old Sam Reich, a high school senior.

Reich, like many other students his age, is headed to college without learning cursive handwriting.

"After fifth grade, I never was questioned for not knowing cursive again," he said.

"Unfortunately, it's a dying art," said Lucy McGuire, a teacher at Coconut Palm Elementary School in Miramar.

McGuire has been teaching for 19 years.

"I don't think these days it's essential. Now that we're living in the digital era, students feel more comfortable -- they rely more on texting, instant messaging, emailing as forms of communicating," she said. "Cursive handwriting is not mandatory, according to the common core (state) standards."

But many still argue that it's important.

"If you know how to write in cursive, then you can relate to the reading in cursive," said one fourth grade student.

"When you swipe your credit card, you need to sign your signature," said another.

"I know enough cursive to sign my name," said Reich.

The basics of cursive handwriting is typically taught to third grade students after FCAT exams.