Cursive writing is apparently falling by the wayside. In schools, most "penmanship" classes have slowly been converted into typing classes over the years. In fact, in 2011 the writing test of the National Assessment of Educational Progress will require 8th and 11th graders to compose their answers on computers, with 4th graders following in 2019. And why not, since our society relies so heavily on forms on computers, technology, and instant messaging?
I, for one, won't miss it. I learned cursive writing and thought that it was named as such because it made me want to say words I wasn't allowed to. I couldn't make my letters look as nice as the writing of my classmates. And there was only so much practice I was willing to put into it on top of all the "real" homework I had. After a few years of trying to write in cursive and never being satisfied with the end result, I totally rebelled in 6th grade. From that point on and to this day, I write it printed, all-capital letters. My signature looks like it belongs to a doctor (my mother wishes!).
Apparently I'm not the only one who prefers printing. For the SAT's written essay portion, a 2007 report by the College Board found that just 15 percent of test-takers chose to write in cursive, while the others wrote in print. Most adults don't write in cursive, though many do employ a printing/cursive hybrid. And as technology continues to improve, there will be fewer and fewer reasons to write things out by hand.
It's doubtful, though, that cursive writing will disappear entirely. Cursive writing helps to teach children hand-eye coordination and fine muscle control. Keyboards and computers are still not available for every student in every classroom, meaning homework, school notes, and tests will be handwritten for years to come. And finally, no matter how reliant on texting and e-mailing we become, we will probably always jot down notes with paper and pen.