Sen. Leising has been tilting at this particular windmill for years since the State Board of Education made cursive discretionary for schools to teach. Advocates of cursive come up with post hoc rationalizations for why they care so much. It’s for the children, of course. But the justifications are specious:
“They need to be able to sign their name.”
Fine, spend a few hours one day teaching them to sign their name.
“It affects brain development.”
You get the same development from printing.
“They need to be able to read the original Declaration of Independence.”
When they get to this point, proponents of mandatory cursive are grasping at straws.
The fact is that cursive is the slide rule of writing. Nostalgia is the motivation for hanging on to it. The world is changing, and that’s upsetting. The offered rationales are pretexts to justify the underlying nostalgia. If we just discovered cursive today, we would be in no rush to force it on our kids.
If teachers and schools decide to spend limited class time on this mode of manufacturing letters, it’s not the end of the world, but making it mandatory is not a useful or necessary use of the General Assembly’s power.