Teacher Groups Support Mandated Teaching of Cursive Writing
Both of the major organizations representing Indiana teachers seem to support mandating the teaching of cursive writing in schools.
The Senate Education Committee heard testimony on a bill creating the mandate from Republican Senator Jean Leising. While much of society moves toward a society governed by the use of keyboard skills, Leising cites research that shows the teaching of writing aids in the development of motor skills in children. She says schools cannot completely abandon the teaching of handwriting and produce people who can function properly in society.
Roni Embry, Public Education Advocacy Coordinator with the Indiana State Teachers Association, says they have a resolution on the books touting cursive writing, saying it is important for kids to learn so they can "function in a literate society." Embry added that the ISTA believes in local control of issues like cursive writing, and says the group would like to have further talks with Leising on the matter.
Sally Sloan, the executive director of the Indiana Federation of Teachers, says her group has not taken an official position on the cursive writing bill. But Sloan says they do support the teaching of cursive writing for elementary school students, and she asked that the bill be amended to specify that it be taught in elementary schools before a vote is taken.
Frank Bush, the executive director of the Indiana School Boards Association, opposes the bill from the standpoint that it does not favor mandates from the Statehouse. Bush says if lawmakers do move forward, he says the bill should spell out exactly what is expected of schools and school districts, which he does not believe is in the current version of the bill.
A committee vote on the bill isn't expected until next week at the earliest.
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