Share story

RALEIGH, N.C. — In the age of texting and tweeting, North Carolina’s elementary-school students soon could have to master a more old-fashioned craft: writing in cursive.

A bill introduced in the state House last week would once again make cursive handwriting a part of the curriculum in state elementary schools. The “Back to Basics” bill also would require elementary students to memorize multiplication tables, though state education officials say that’s already part of the curriculum.

North Carolina’s move to bring back cursive comes as other states, from California to Massachusetts, also are trying to revive what’s become a lost skill.

Traditionalists have bemoaned how cursive has been getting less attention in North Carolina public schools for years, even though it was officially part of the curriculum in grades 3 through 5.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

But this school year, cursive supporters became more upset when North Carolina became one of 45 states to implement the “Common Core” standards in language arts and mathematics. Common Core — aimed at providing uniformity in what’s being taught in classrooms nationally — doesn’t mention cursive.

“Every child should know cursive,” said Republican state Rep. Pat Hurley, a primary sponsor of the bill. “Our children can’t write a simple sentence. They think printing their name is their signature.”

Cursive is encouraged but no longer required in Seattle Public Schools, and Washington’s education department doesn’t insist it be taught, either.

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.