Educators have been debating lately whether kids should still be taught cursive in school. Some districts have been removing it from their required curriculum, allowing individual schools to decide for themselves. What do we think?
To me, this much seems clear: it's over for cursive. I was taught cursive in school, but I never use it and neither, in my experience, do almost any of my peers. Meanwhile, I've graded hundreds of hand-written undergraduate exams, and never to my recollection received one in cursive. I think it's safe to say that cursive is not making a comeback.
It makes sense, really. We live in an age of print. Even casual communication is now normally typed, so stylized handwritten script increasingly comes to seem outlandish and unnecessary. At one time, pretty handwriting was prized, and regarded as essential for use on "formal" occasions. Nowadays nothing formal will be handwritten anyway, so fancy script seems like a waste of time.
Thus, as you see, I'm pretty indifferent to cursive. If I were designing a curriculum for my kids, I wouldn't bother to include it. I can see how it might be nice for them to have a crash course in reading it, so that they can decipher their grandmothers' recipes and whatnot, but in another decade or two, even that is going to stop having much relevance to most people. Script is always changing, and cursive is rapidly moving towards complete obsolescence. I'm generally in favor of preserving our links to tradition, but if we want to preserve handwriting traditions across generations, why not just go whole hog and teach courses in paleography?