This is the last year that core school standards in 46 states will include students learning cursive. This elegant, disciplined style of writing may go the way of VHS, music tapes, rotary phones, and other obsoletes. That would be a mistake. We urge schools to continue teaching our children cursive.
It's more than just an less popular writing system that can be ditched without consequences. Cursive is a discipline that requires skill. We agree with Maryland State Archivist Edward C. Papenfuse, who told the Baltimore Sun, "Cursive writing is a matter of discipline and training in our culture. It is necessary to the future of sustaining our culture and our understanding of the past." Papenfuse also points out that cursive is a key ingredient to help young children learn small motor control.
Cursive also can provide a glimpse into the personality of the writer. There is beauty in well-written cursive that would be missed if it gradually disappeared. Writers such as Margaret Mitchell, and many others, painstakingly wrote "Gone With the Wind," and other great novels, in cursive. Losing cursive skills would also make it more difficult for people to study historical documents.
There are many reasons to maintain a widespread knowledge of cursive. It should not fade from our view.