Ohio House members introduce bill implementing cursive
House bill 58, if passed in Ohio’s General Assembly, would make cursive writing a standard by fifth grade in Ohio schools.
Representative Andrew Brenner and Representative Marilyn Slaby introduce the bill on Feb. 13 of this year.
Slaby, while acknowledging that society is heading into a tech-savvy world, wants children to learn cursive so if they don’t have technology they can still effectively communicate.
“I realize we’re going into a technical time, but all children don’t have the technical capability… there are so many things you don’t carry an ipad for,” Slaby said.
Slaby herself was a teacher for five years at Cuyahoga Falls School district and did long term subbing for many years for four different districts in Ohio. So, coming from a teacher’s perspective, Slaby thinks this bill will be helpful and believes that teachers can teach cursive while teaching spelling or how to say the sounds of letters. There are other teachers who agree with Slaby, such as Polly Fenton, gifted intervention specialist at Edgewood Middle School.
According to Fenton, while teaching she tries to write in cursive on the chalkboard so her students get practice reading it; she supports the idea behind the bill.
“I definitely think it [cursive] needs to be taught in schools because if you can’t read cursive, how can you read the Declaration of Independence or a letter from your grandma,” Fenton said.
However, there are other teachers who acknowledge the benefits of cursive but do not believe it needs to be a standard such as Connie Massaro, gifted intervention specialist at Edgewood.
Massaro explained that while cursive can make note taking faster and says that people should learn to sign their names, she is hesitant about putting another standard on teachers and students and believes the matter should come down to a teacher’s preference.
“In all truthfulness, I don’t care if they print or write in cursive,” Massaro said.
The bill will be debated in this secession of the legislature, and Slaby hopes the bill will be voted on and passed by the end of June.