Cursive in the Classroom: Wisconsin lawmakers push for mandatory teaching

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- In a world ruled by texting and emails, basic cursive writing has become a thing of the past in many schools but Wisconsin lawmakers want to change that.

The Madison Metropolitan School District says it hasn’t erased the old-fashioned writing practice from the curriculum even though Wisconsin does not currently require it be taught in schools. A bill passed by the state Assembly Thursday would require it. Under the proposal, all students statewide would need to learn cursive by fifth grade.

"There is some research around students being good writers that actually have a fluency to the writing in the cursive they use," said Lisa Kvistad, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning for Madison schools. Lawmakers say research shows cursive writing also promotes positive learning and brain development.

In Madison, the school district says some parents still have mixed feelings about the relevance. Kvistad says it’s all about balance. "There will always be a place for students to sign and put their John Hancock on something so right now we're in a good place with it and we feel like we have it balanced along with teaching we do for technology and being prepared for digital citizenship," said Kvistad.

The bill still needs approval from the Senate before heading to Governor Tony Evers’ desk for his signature. If the bill becomes law it wouldn't change much for students in Madison but other districts who aren't currently teaching it would have to find the money and time to fit it into the curriculum.