The state of Texas has updated the English Language Art and Reading (ELAR) curriculum standards (TEKS) that take a more rigorous and demanding stance on teaching cursive writing at the elementary level.
The previous curriculum standards adopted in 2008 that began in the 2009-2010 school year taught students legible cursive script in third grade; however, by the fourth and fifth grade level the TEKS allowed for students to choose between writing in legible cursive or manuscript to complete assignments.
The revised TEKS are now teaching students to write in cursive at the second-grade level; second graders will learn both upper- and lowercase cursive letters. By third grade, students will be connecting cursive letters and creating words and sentences. Fourth and fifth graders will be completing full assignments in cursive, legibly.
Cursive was never lost in the Texas curriculum; however, in recent years it was not taught at a very rigorous level. Allowing students to choose whether to complete assignments in cursive or print has potentially created a gap in the use of cursive in current society.
The recently adopted curriculum standards in 2018 that will be effective in the 2019-2020 school year prioritizes cursive writing much more than the previous set of ELAR TEKS, forcing students to continuously use and complete assignments in both cursive and manuscript.