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After Years of Being Out of Fashion, Cursive Writing Returns to Schools

By Nicholas Rizzi | February 17, 2017 2:33pm | Updated on February 19, 2017 8:46pm
 The Department of Education released a new guide to encourage teachers to bring cursive writing lessons back to classrooms.
The Department of Education released a new guide to encourage teachers to bring cursive writing lessons back to classrooms.
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NEW YORK CITY — Cursive is coming back to the classroom.

The Department of Education is encouraging teachers to focus on penmanship after years of the writing falling out of fashion.

The city has developed a new online "Teaching Cursive Writing" handbook which gives strategies for lessons for pre-kindergarten to fifth grade students.

The policy change comes after Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis brought up concerns about ditching cursive lessons to schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña at a budget meeting last year.

"It is important that young people, who will soon be entering the real world, know how to write a signature of their own to identify themselves, and have the ability to sign a legal document, check or voter registration form," Malliotakis said in a statement. 

"Without knowing how to read script, students can’t even read historic documents like the Declaration of Independence.

"It is very unfortunate that there is a generation of students who did not learn to write and read cursive, but today we have been assured that this wrong has been corrected."

The DOE said research shows it's valuable to teach students handwriting.

"We’re focused on providing schools with the best instructional resources, and we’ve already released two resources this year for schools to teach cursive and print handwriting," said DOE spokesman Will Mantell in a statement.

"We thank the Assemblywoman for her support on this issue."

The DOE shared the cursive writing handbook in a newsletter to principals in September.

Cursive lessons haven't been required by the state for more than 20 years, and they still aren't being mandated. It's left up to superintendents and principals to decide if they want to use the new handbooks, Mantell said.

Some teachers never stopped giving cursive lessons and others have started since the guides were released, though Mantell couldn't say how many classrooms it's being taught in.