Computer keyboards and smartphones are finally taking their toll on a centuries-old art form: cursive writing.
This fall, Indiana will become the latest state to drop a requirement to teach cursive as part of the public school curriculum.
State officials alerted school leaders to the change earlier this year, letting them know that students will instead be expected to become proficient in keyboard use, according to Indiana news station Local12.
The debate over the need for cursive isn’t a new one. The worries range from more emotional concerns, like a growing detachment from the written word, to more practical ones, such as fears that a sloppy, simplistic and inconsistent signature is much easier forged.
Those who support the move, meanwhile, say that classroom time is limited and teachers should use the time they have to build computer skills and typing prowess at a time when more and more communication takes place online.
We haven’t been able to track down the exact number of states which have abandoned teaching cursive all together (help us out in the comments if you can) but the so-called common core standards that have been adopted by more than 40 states no longer include cursive as a requirement. Districts are still free to teach cursive, of course, but most only do so in the third grade, with fewer and fewer lessons being offered.