State rep files bill to require cursive by 3rd grade

State rep files bill to require cursive by 3rd grade

(WAFF) - An Alabama state representative filed a bill that would continue to require cursive handwriting be taught to students by the end of third grade.

Rep. Dickie Drake (R - District 45) pre-filed House Bill 23, which will be read on Tuesday when the House of Representatives begins their next session.

With the bill, Drake, who represents Shelby and Jefferson Counties, is seeking to amend a section of Alabama code to mandate that educators teach students to learn to write in cursive before they begin fourth grade.

"Instruction in handwriting shall include cursive writing so that students are able to create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting by the end of the third grade," says the proposed amendment.

The section in question, 16-6B-2 of the Code of Alabama 1975, deals with the core curriculum for public schools in Alabama.

There are currently content standards for cursive in second and third graders in Alabama. When the state adopted Alabama College and Career Ready Standard, which is based on Common Core, cursive writing was retained in the curriculum and it continues to be taught.

There are no plans to phase out cursive writing, according to Malissa Valdes-Hubert with the Alabama Department of Education. The current curriculum is effective until the 2016-2017 school year.

Since 2010, Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core, which does not require cursive writing be taught in the classroom. It is up to individual states to decide if they want to teach it. Alabama adopted the Common Core curriculum in Nov. 2010. The standard was fully implemented during the 2013-2014 school year.

Tennessee enacted a similar law requiring cursive be taught in 2014; North Carolina in 2013. On Feb. 19, Arkansas lawmakers mandated that schools in the state teach cursive writing. Other states across the country are exploring similar legislation.

According to the Washington Post, a report by the Miami-Dade public school system found that cursive instruction has been on the decline since the 1970s.

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