It’s a blast from the past.
The city’s Department of Education revealed that it began giving schools the option to teach cursive handwriting to pre-K to fifth graders this year.
Assemb. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) said the department enacted the policy after she discussed the matter with city and state education officials when she found out that students had not been taught it for 20 years.
“You can’t read the Declaration of Independence without learning cursive,” she said. “This is an essential skill that can’t be lost.”
Although the cursive training is optional, Malliotakis said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has been urging principals to bring back the curriculum and most of those administrators have agreed.
The DOE wouldn’t comment on how many schools have adopted the cursive classes.
“We’re focused on providing schools with the best instructional resources, and we’ve already released two resources this year for schools to teach cursive and print handwriting,” the agency said in a statement.
Currently, cursive instruction isn’t mandatory statewide, however the assemblywoman isn’t considering a bill to change that rule.
“I do believe it’s better to do it administratively. It’s easier that way,” she said.