Skip to main content

Morning Shift

Illinois Districts Must Adopt Cursive Writing In 2018-2019 School Year

In a controversial shift, public elementary schools are now required to teach cursive writing before students complete the fifth grade.

Illinois lawmakers in November voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation that made cursive required in schools. The law went into effect July 1 and will impact students in the 2018-19 school year.

School districts will determine the grade level of instruction, but students must pass at least one unit of cursive writing by the end of fifth grade.

Critics of the law say the state is imposing too many requirements on public schools and complained that there is no funding to support the curriculum.

Sen. Kimberly Lightford led the initiative. She says cursive is a skill children will need throughout their lives to sign legal documents and read the constitution.

Dr. Steve Tozer, professor of educational policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, weighs in on the impact of cursive writing on early childhood development.

GUEST: Dr. Steve Tozer, professor of educational policy studies and director of the UIC Center for Urban Education Leadership

LEARN MORE: Full Text Of Cursive Writing Bill

So Longhand: Has Cursive Reached The End Of The Line? (5/31/18)

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.