At least according to this Indianapolis Star article:
Learning to write in script is a time-honored tradition. But in today’s time-starved classrooms, some around the country are questioning whether, given everything else vying for space in the curriculum and the increasing use of technology, teaching these children cursive is even necessary.
Local teachers say, if nothing else, its emphasis has diminished in recent years.
“Historically, we teach less cursive now,” said Webb, whose class works on handwriting for short periods two to three days each week. “It seems we have more and more standards we need to cover. The emphasis is on science and reading.”
[…] Lisa Jones, who teaches third grade at Edgelea Elementary, said she’s noticed that consequence of the de-emphasis, not just by schools but by society: “The most difficult part for me is that now they can’t read it, because they don’t see it anywhere.”
Like Webb, Jones said she isn’t teaching as much cursive as in the past. Not emphasizing it as much at that grade, however, means by the time they hit fourth grade, they’re not able to write as well.
“I don’t think it will be used as much,” Jones said. “When I was in junior high and high school, our final copies of work had to be handwritten in cursive. Now it’s typed.”
Can’t say I’m too upset by this trend because I’ve never been overly fond of writing in cursive. About the only thing I ever write in cursive is my signature and it’s damned near illegible. As a child I absolutely detested having to learn cursive writing. I can recall asking what was wrong with printing, which I was quite good at, and being told that it wasn’t “proper” writing or something along those lines. That made printing into the underdog, and I have always had a soft-spot for the underdog in any fight, which only made me that much more determined that I’d print whenever I could get away with it. I think part of why I got into computers was so I would have an excuse not to write in cursive and could fake it with a quick font change if need be. These days I print automatically out of pure habit. Though I can, if I sit down and really focus on it, write in cursive that’s readable. It’s a painfully slow and annoying process though so I only tend to do it when challenged to prove that I can.
It seems to me most folks are rubbish at writing in cursive which makes reading anything written in it almost as annoying as writing it myself. Sure there’s some folks who have wonderfully beautiful cursive, but most folks’ efforts at cursive are just this side of being a good reason to through them in a padded cell for fear they’re clinically insane. As far as I’m concerned it’s a writing style that can’t die out fast enough, but then I’m biased toward the underdog.