"Is Cursive Writing Dead?" at Yahoo News:
Writing in general, regardless of whether it's cursive, may also boost brain activity, according to a 2010 study finding that preschool students who wrote out letters rather than just viewing them showed changes in brain activity when they later viewed those letters. "Coupled with other work from our lab, we interpret this as the motor system augmenting visual processing," said study researcher Karin Harman James of Indiana University in a statement. "In the case of learning letters, printing helps children recognize letters."So far, so good. But take a look at Morgan Polikoff's statement in the article:
And at WaPo, a much less inflammatory and nuanced statement. I've put the part missing from Yahoo! in bold:Anderson points critics to a recent study by the College Board, which found that SAT test essays written in cursive received a slightly higher score than those written in printed letters.But Polikoff and others aren't impressed. The College Board study "is not evidence of anything," he told the Los Angeles Times. "It doesn't indicate that the knowledge of cursive causes higher scores.""As we have done with the abacus and the slide rule, it is time to retire the teaching of cursive," Polikoff told The New York Times. "The writing is on the wall."
"The simple fact is that cursive is not included in the common core," he said, and added that though states are able to choose up to 15% of the standards, few decide to add cursive.
"I think it's important to have nice handwriting, but the importance of having to learn two kinds of handwriting seems unnecessary given the vast method of communication is on a keyboard," Polikoff said. "One reason [to teach it] might be to be able to read historical documents and old journals that are written in cursive."Left undiscussed:
1. Do smarter students write in cursive because cursive helps their brain activity?
2. Or do SAT raters give them credit for being smarter because they see writing in cursive as a superior skill?
3. Is there a real correlation between cursive writing and better writing (better thoughts, better sentences, etc.), or is it just an artifact of the rating process?
4. If cursive isn't part of the common core but is taught in good schools (as nicoleandmaggie indicated), how might this affect the professed objectivity of the rating process for other standardized tests, since cursive writing could equal coming from a better school?
5. Why would Yahoo! report Polikoff's view as a "stomp out cursive" message and WaPo report his longer statements, which sort of undercut the idea that cursive is useless?