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Is Cursive Dead? Indiana Schools Dump Handwriting for Typing Skills

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“I think we all need to know how to sign our names."

Indiana public schools will no longer be required to teach cursive handwriting come this fall, and instead students will be expected to learn keyboard typing skills.

A memo from the Indiana Department of Education said schools may decide for themselves whether to keep teaching cursive, or to drop it from their curriculums completely.

Reaction to the decision has been mixed. Karen Goeller, deputy superintendent for the Vigo County School Corporation, told the Indiana Tribune-Star her district will keep teaching cursive in elementary school for now, even in a typing and tech-savvy world.

“We consider our students’ needs, and right now, we do see a benefit in teaching cursive as part of our curriculum...we feel it’s important students have a healthy mix of handwriting and keyboarding skills.”

Currently, SAT and Advanced Placement exams require handwritten essays, leading to questions about how future test-takers will fare:

“Speed and legibility are keys to success," Goeller said.

Another concern is handwritten signatures for the next generation: Ericka Hostetter, a parent whose children attend public school in Indiana, told the Tribune-Star that while she's "right in the middle" on the decision, “I think we all need to know how to sign our names in cursive.”

But the debate isn't just confined to Indiana. Parents and schools in Colorado and Georgia are having the same discussions:

And one school in South Carolina has decided to stick with its cursive writing despite its fleeting popularity:

What do you think? Is this an example of schools making necessary curriculum updates, or just more dumbing down in education?

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