Does Abandoning Cursive in Schools Write Off Our Children’s Future?

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A new USA Gold pencils survey finds the answer is not as clear as many educators would like for us to believe.

USA Gold Pencils by The Write Dudes and MEGA Brands America

As the Common Core State Standards are being implemented across the 45 US states that adopted the initiative, fewer elementary schools are teaching cursive and are instead providing keyboard competency instruction. The rationale being that tomorrow’s workforce will need to know how to type and navigate a computer more so than read or write cursive. However, as classrooms move into the 21st century, they may be leaving something important behind.

According to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Interactive® on behalf of USA Gold pencils among 2,021 U.S. adults ages 18+ and 1,211 U.S. youth ages 8-18, 89% of Americans believe it is still necessary to practice reading and writing in cursive. Nearly half of adults (49%) and over a third of children (35%) indicated that it is necessary to practice reading and writing in cursive for increased literacy. Furthermore, nearly 8 in 10 adults (79%) and close to 7 in 10 children (68%) believe cursive writing still needs to be taught, as it is always going to be necessary.

Don’t know cursive, what does that say about you?

When asked to describe what they think about adults who do not know how to read or write in cursive, about half of adults and children (50% and 52% respectively) believe they probably never learned it in school; 30% of adults and 25% of children presume they are less literate (e.g. educated/learned) than those that can; while 7% of adults and 11% of children assume those that have not mastered penmanship proficiency are just not smart.

Does cursive writing have a place in the modern workplace?

When asked whether they felt that cursive writing is a skill that all workers, no matter their occupation, should know, 70% of U.S. adults agreed it is a skill that workers should still possess.

How might competence in cursive impact a hiring decision?

Only adults were asked how necessary they thought it would be that a person could read or write in cursive if they were in the position to hire them for a job, and interestingly, women are significantly more likely to think cursive is a skill a job candidate should have, with more than half (54%) responding cursive is very necessary/necessary compared to only 44% of men.

Will future sentiment toward cursive be different?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects about half of the American workforce in 2020 will be female. While few job interviews test penmanship prowess, given the findings from USA Gold pencil’s first annual back to school survey, is it worth the risk to not ensure your child is competent in cursive? It may just be what gives them the needed edge to land their dream job.

Before educators in U.S public schools close the book on cursive writing, they may want to reconsider this tried and true low-tech discipline, which most Americans feel is a valuable lifelong skill. 

Infographic available with online version of this release or attached here.

YouthQuery Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive® on behalf of MEGA Brands America from June 13-26, 2013 among 1,211 8-18 year olds. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. 8-18 year old population. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact bmiller(at)pivotpointmarketing(dot)net.

QuickQuery Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive® on behalf of MEGA Brands America from June 13-17, 2013 among 2,021 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact bmiller(at)pivotpointmarketing(dot)net.

About USA Gold Pencils

MEGA Brands America is proud to produce durable, affordable USA Gold pencils. These high-quality, California cedar wood, #2 pencils have been manufactured in Lewisburg, Tennessee for 52 years. These "Made in the USA" and "Budget-friendly" products are essential for back to school lists, and consumers can support American manufacturing jobs when choosing USA Gold branded pencils. They are available for purchase immediately (MSRP starting at $1.99) at Walmart, Target, Staples, Office Depot, and Amazon.com.

About MEGA Brands America

MEGA Brands Americs, the arts & stationery division of MEGA Brands Inc., is made up of three primary brands: RoseArt, The Board Dudes and The Write Dudes. They offer engaging creative experiences for children, families and collectors through innovative, well-designed, affordable and high-quality products. Visit http://www.roseart.com, http://www.boarddudes.com and http://www.writedudes.com for more information.

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Beth Miller

Shantelle Taylor
@thewritedudes
since: 10/2010
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