House passes cursive writing mandate | Arkansas Blog

House passes cursive writing mandate

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More government intervention from the Republican legislature, which professes to abhor intrusive government.

The House today voted 66-21 to pass Rep. Kim Hendren's bill to require that cursive writing be taught by the end of the third grade. It goes to the Senate.

The Bureau of Legislative Research says the bill has no state financial impact. It has some impact at the local level, in lost class time if nothing else.

Sign me,

Glad they invented keyboards. Neither my cursive nor printing is legible.

From the debate, thanks to Benji Hardy:

Rep. Nate Bell, speaking against the bill:

"One of the things that troubled me is that it doesn't really acknowledge that communication evolves ... Today neither of my daughters use cursive writing other than to sign their names" 

Addressing the argument about founding documents being written in cursive, he said "How many of you can read the Bible in the original language as a manuscript? I can't."

Opponents like Bell framed it in terms of local control. "Business doesn't use it today. Why not allow local control and allow local school districts to decide?" Bell asked.

Rep. Charlotte Douglas, speaking for the bill, said research shows teaching kids cursive writing "increases their developmental ability to learn." Rep. Justin Harris, speaking for the bill: "just this winter I took my family to DC ... We looked at the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and how important was it for my children to be able to look at those documents and read them?"

Cursive, he said, "creates synapses in the brain... Texting isn't everything"

Andy Davis said he doesn't want to add more state mandates to local education: "it's probably good for brain development and we all need to learn how to write in cursive. That's all true ... But take it up with your local school board. Its also true that I should drink more water and fewer Cokes, but I hope nobody runs that bill."


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