News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 6, 2013

Bill would return cursive writing to required subject

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana state Sen. Jean Leising’s push to require the teaching of cursive writing in elementary schools has gotten national attention, including a story last week in The Wall Street Journal.

On Tuesday, that push moved forward as her colleagues in the the state Senate approved her legislation that would reverse the state Department of Education’s decision to make cursive writing optional.

Now the legislation moves on to the Indiana House, where it died last year.

“People will come up to me and say, ‘Thanks for working on that cursive writing bill,’” said Leising, a Republican from Oldenburg. “And I have to tell them, ‘It’s not a done deal yet.’”

Leising’s legislation to mandate cursive writing instruction passed through the Senate on a 36-13 vote. Among the bill’s supporters is Democrat state Sen. Tim Skinner, a retired school teacher from Terre Haute.

“Most elementary teachers recognize the importance of this,” Skinner said during discussion on the bill.

To bill opponents who said the state shouldn’t be mandating what’s taught in local schools, Skinner said: “If you’re afraid of mandates you probably ought to get out the legislature.”

State Sen. Earline Rogers, a Democrat from Gary and retired school teacher, voted against the bill. “I think we ought to leave decisions about curriculum to those who deal with it daily,” she said.

The Indiana Department of Education dropped its cursive writing requirement in 2011, after the State Board of Education voted to adopt Common Core state standards. The Common Core standards require elementary school students to be proficient in computer keyboarding, but not in cursive writing.

The state DOE gave local school districts the option of keeping or dropping cursive writing instruction for their students.

Leising’s legislation, Senate Bill 120, restores the cursive requirement.

In advocating for the bill, Leising cited studies that have connected the ability to write in cursive to a child’s cognitive development.

She also pulled out several small posters, created by some fifth-graders in Columbus that listed reasons why they thought it was important to learn cursive writing. Signing their name on documents was among the reasons they listed.

Leising has earned wide attention for the bill. The national Campaign for Cursive, launched by cursive-writing supporters, called attention to her legislation last month as part of its recogniton of National Handwriting Day.

She was also quoted in a Jan. 30 story in The Wall Street Journal about the demise of cursive writing requirements in schools in other states.

Leising told The Journal that more than 90 percent of the 1,000 constituents she surveyed in her rural district in southeast Indiana said they still favored teaching cursive.

Maureen Hayden covers the Indiana Statehouse for CNHI, the Tribune-Star’s parent company. Email: maureen.hayden@

indianamediagroup.com.


 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Today in History for April 18th Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains
NDN Video
My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity