The Kansas Board of Education now is recommending public schools continue teaching students cursive handwriting.
During its meeting earlier this week, the board unanimously adopted a statement that encourages Kansas educators to ensure students can legibly write and read cursive text. The vote followed earlier discussions about eliminating cursive handwriting lessons from classrooms in favor of more technology-oriented instruction.
The board also voted to order the Kansas Department of Education to develop cursive standards, curriculum guidelines and best practices, according to media reports. Kathy Toelkes, Kansas Department of Education spokeswoman, said the measures won support of the board because of research indicating the role of handwriting in cognitive development, according to media reports.
A survey of public schools throughout the state found that 90 percent of Kansas school districts are teaching cursive, typically beginning in third grade. The survey showed that teachers usually spend between 15 minutes to an hour each day instructing students on cursive handwriting. In the same survey, 23 percent of Kansas school districts stated handwriting is not a high-priority, and six percent said they anticipate reducing instructional time spent on the subject.