Columbia Sticks With Cursive Writing

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Public School officials said Friday the district plans to keep teaching the skill of cursive handwriting to elementary students. The statement comes after schools in the St. Louis area siad they are de-emphasizing cursive skills to make way for earlier keyboarding skills.

In 2010, Missouri adopted something called the Common Core State Standards, a set of national guidelines for what students should learn and when. In those guidelines, there is no cursive requirement. But according to Becky Stanley, K-5 Language Arts Coordinator for CPS, cursive will still be taught.

"As we move toward Common Core alignment we know that there are "surface level" skills that may not be specifically addressed yet are prerequisites to "higher level" skills," Stanley said. The standards adopted by the state say a student must be able to write legibly, write fluently and fluently compose sentences by the time he or she reaches 5th grade.

CPS board member Jonathan Sessions echoed this sentiment by saying that cursive handwriting is not leaving Columbia schools anytime soon. He said the skill is essential for students reading ability. Teresa Horrell, a 3rd grade teacher at Russell Elementary, said the students are excited to learn cursvie handwriting and they consider it a milestone of elementary school.