Teaching cursive and/or coding: Where should Wisconsin draw (or type) the line?

Jeremy Thiesfeldt:

How can cursive help? Studies show the value of cursive writing on student brains and learning: Cursive writing stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the right and left hemispheres in a way that printing does not. Cursive writing builds neural pathways and integrates multisensory learning, which is a key component for struggling readers. The College Board even found that students who wrote in cursive for the SAT scored higher than students who used print.

Dyslexia and dysgraphia, learning disabilities that can severely affect learning, have both shown to be aided with cursive writing.

The state Department of Public Instruction has exaggerated the cost of this bill, with its estimate of $1.7 million to $6 million annually. State agencies commonly inflate and deflate legislative fiscal estimates based on the department’s preferred policy positions. In the case of AB 459, the DPI’s estimate does not account for the fact that many schools currently teach cursive and many school districts already have the materials and training available.

Beyond the nostalgia of being able to read grandparents’ letters and the Declaration of Independence, cursive writing provides the mental gymnastics to develop student brains and increase learning outcomes. And it can be done in a low-cost way — not the millions the DPI suggests.