As a result of a push by Staten Island Assemblywoman, Nicole Malliotakis, DOE’s Chancellor Carmen Farina has committed to include cursive writing to the third grade curriculum.
The Assemblywoman stated, “without knowing how to read script, students can’ts even read historic documents like the Declaration of Independence.”
The DOE has also introduced a handbook for cursive writing. According to the handbook, despite advances in computer technology, research supports the argument that today’s students still need instruction in handwriting for two primary reasons. First, learning to form letters by hand improves perception of letters and contributes to better reading and spelling. Second, automatic letter writing promotes better composing—both amount written and quality of writing.
The DOE is leaving it up to school staff to decide how to incorporate cursive into their teaching. This new initiative is not a mandate forcing schools to adopt the curriculum.