Introduced by state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, the bill would require schools receiving state money — public and private — to teach cursive so students can write legibly in it by fifth grade.
“Surprisingly to many, cursive writing can lend a hand in the process of improving reading,” Thiesfeldt told the Assembly Committee on State Affairs during a public hearing Nov. 6. “This bill isn’t just about nostalgia of being able to read grandma’s letters and primary source historical documents.”
The state Senate Committee on Education recommended on a 5-4 vote Dec. 20 to send the bill to the full Senate for passage. The Assembly committee has not yet acted on their version of the bill.
The linked story does a good job of laying out the arguments. The issue isn’t whether or not we should teach cursive. Personally, I think we should, but I can understand the opposite view. The issue is whether or not the state should mandate it. The state mandates all sorts of things to local school districts – both big and small – but should this be left to local school boards to decide? Or is there a valid state interest in including cursive teaching as one of the list of things that are required as part of a standard Wisconsin education? I’m on the fence.