New state bill could require cursive to be taught in public scho - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New state bill could require cursive to be taught in public schools

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Veteran teacher Ouida Bianco prepares her fourth grade students for their writing assessment tests Monday. Ironically it won't require much writing, if any.

"Our writing assessment will be done all on the computers," Bianco says.

In the age of tablets, computers and smart boards students are putting pencil to paper less and cursive is becoming a symbol of the "good ol' days." Add that to the tougher curriculum educators are required to teach in a year and some will admit, they just don't have time for it.

"It is somewhat of a dying art," says Bianco. 

Students are taught cursive in the third grade but how often do they use it after that? "I don't remember," fourth grader, Alyssa says.

"I practiced in third grade a lot but I haven't written in cursive since then," says Xander.

That's why Bianco and some other educators made a pact years ago. "We said ok, we're all in agreement here right? We're not going to let cursive go away," explains Bianco.

It may soon become law. In late January a bill was filed in the state legislature, SB1881, that would require Tennessee students to be taught cursive handwriting by the third grade.
"Being able to read documents if children were to go through the Smithsonian, go through any of the national archives," Bianco says.

Her students were more than willing to show off their cursive signatures but that may be all they use it for. "I'm hoping for generations it will continue to be taught so that they can learn it," says Bianco.

She believes there's not better time than the present, as the debate on Education Reform continues, to ensure cursive is around for years to come.

"Makes sense to me that this would be a good time to incorporate that bill into it when we adopt the new common core, if we continue in that direction," Bianco says. 

The bills sponsors, state representatives from middle and east Tennessee have asked the measure go into effect immediately upon passing it.

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