The ability to produce (write) or interpret (read) written text is central to human communication. Words and sentences can be constructed by handwriting (print/manuscript, cursive), typing, and/or other digital tools (e.g., speech-to-text technology).
Compared to typing, handwriting practice has stronger positive impacts on reading, writing and memory. While there is limited research directly comparing cursive and print handwriting, there is evidence that cursive writing can preferentially increase the speed and fluency of writing and reading for some students, especially those with handwriting difficulties (e.g., dyslexia, dysgraphia and developmental control disorder). Missouri currently does not require students to read or write in cursive; however, twenty-one states specifically mandate cursive handwriting instruction in some form.
House Bill 108 would require Missouri’s public school districts to provide cursive writing instruction by the end of the fifth grade and administer a proficiency test for reading and writing cursive.