The changes will go into effect this fall

By Maria Pasquini
May 17, 2019 11:16 AM
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Cursive writing
Credit: Getty

Cursive writing may have gone out of fashion, but numerous states across the country are moving to reintroduce it into their elementary-school curriculums.

Although Texas, the latest state to embrace cursive writing, first updated its state Education Code with the changes in 2017, they’re set to take place at the start of the 2019-2020 school year in September, according to WCNC.

Public-school students will begin learning cursive letters in the second grade, and by the following year will be expected to “write complete words, thoughts, and answers legibly in cursive writing leaving appropriate spaces between words,” according to the updated Texas Education Code.

Fourth-graders will be expected to “write legibly in cursive to complete assignments,” and cursive will also be a requirement for fifth-graders.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency told CNN that although cursive has been a part of the education standards in the state for years, the changes will put an “added emphasis” on it.

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Cursive writing
Child practicing cursive
| Credit: Getty

The changes reflect new science which shows a positive correlation between handwriting and memory, according to Houston Public Media.

“Studies have shown [it] to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory as well as stimulating the brain,” Katrina Erickson, of curriculum provider Learning Without Tears, told the organization. “Writing by hand helps to tie that content to their memory for faster, more efficient and stable recall later on.”

Although there is disagreement about how useful being able to write in cursive is in 2019, many have spoken out in support of the changes.

“I’m from the old school, but with government documents and contracts and things like that, you need your cursive signature,” Nay Roach, a fourth-grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary School, told KSLA.

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Another Texas resident pointed out to the outlet that signatures are often used by institutions to detect irregularities.

“Everybody writes cursive differently from others and that’s how they detect problems,” Mark Brassfield shared in an interview with KSLA.

Since 2016, a total of 18 states in the U.S. have moved to re-embrace cursive, with 14 of those states being located in the South, according to CNN.