An assemblywoman from Hudson County has introduced legislation that would require schools to teach students to read and write in cursive, the style of penmanship once taught universally but that has fallen out of favor in an age when most written communication is generated by keyboard.
The bill introduced by Angela McKnight, a Jersey City Democrat, would require elementary schools to include cursive in the curriculum. Students would be expected to be proficient by the end of third grade.
Cursive was dropped from state Common Core standards nearly a decade ago, but proponents cite research showing it could help improve cognitive and literacy skills. Learning cursive may also benefit students with dyslexia and other disabilities.
“In some cases, children are entering middle school without knowing how to sign their own name in cursive,” McKnight said. “We are doing our children a disservice by not teaching them a vital skill they will need for the rest of their lives.”
If it becomes law, New Jersey would join about two dozen other states that require cursive. McKnight's bill will now go before the Assembly Education Committee for review.
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