Wisconsin Legislature Considers Cursive Writing Bill for Schools

There’s a new bill floating around the Wisconsin State Assembly, and it’s all about cursive writing.

Yes, that elegant, flowing script that many of us learned back in our school days, laboriously looping our “b”s and “f”s, and seamlessly connecting every letter in notes to our friends.

A bill has been reintroduced, aiming to ensure that this art of penmanship makes its way into the curriculum of Wisconsin schools.

But why, and what does this mean for our kids?

The Proposal at a Glance

In the latest educational development from the Wisconsin State Assembly, a bill proposing the mandatory teaching of cursive writing in schools has passed the Assembly on February 20th and is now awaiting consideration in the state Senate.

The bill, championed by Republican state representatives including Paul Melotik and senator Joan Ballweg, seeks to mandate the inclusion of cursive writing in the state’s model academic standards for English language arts.

The proponents argue that cursive writing offers numerous benefits, including aiding in the development of critical thinking, enhancing memory retention, improving motor skills, and supporting students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Current Teaching Practices

Despite the legislative push, many school districts in the Milwaukee area and throughout Wisconsin already include cursive writing in their curriculum.

For example, districts such as Kettle Moraine and Richmond begin teaching cursive as early as second grade.

Historical Context and Opposition

This isn’t the first attempt to legislate cursive writing education in Wisconsin, with similar bills proposed in 2019 and 2021 failing to pass.

Critics of the bill, including school district superintendents and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, cite budgetary concerns, redundancy in academic standards, and a preference for local control over curriculum decisions as primary reasons for their opposition.

What’s Next?

As the bill moves to the state Senate for further consideration, the debate continues among educators, parents, and legislators.

The outcome of this legislative effort could see Wisconsin’s elementary students joining or continuing a tradition of cursive writing education.

Community Reactions

The proposal has ignited conversations among Wisconsin residents, with some reminiscing about their own experiences learning cursive in school and others questioning the relevance of cursive writing in a world increasingly dominated by keyboards and touchscreens.

For us parents, this brings up interesting questions. How do we feel about cursive writing? Is it a vital skill for our digital-native kids, or an elegant relic of the past?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you remember learning cursive? Do you think it’s essential for today’s students?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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