Hawaii is joining several states across the country that are dropping cursive writing from mandatory school curriculum.
The Aloha state has adopted for this school year the national Common Core State Standards, a set of education standards that omits cursive but includes keyboard proficiency. Hawaii's former public school standards require that students can, by the fourth grade, write legibly and in cursive, the Star Advertiser reports.
Now, whether schools teach cursive will be at the principal's discretion -- and several school leaders have indicated their interest in continuing to teach the skill, according to the Star Advertiser.
Since the Common Core State Standards were introduced two years ago, 44 states have adopted the guidelines. Those states have also debated whether to keep cursive in their curriculum. Opponents of the move to eliminate cursive teaching from mandatory curriculum argue, for example, that having the skill develops children's ability to read. Supporters say the skill is archaic and unnecessary in the digital age.
Indiana in April elected to remove cursive from its official curriculum while other states are still deciding, though schools can also choose to reincorporate cursive teaching. Similarly, Illinois does not have cursive in its mandatory curriculum and allows school districts to set the standard, Pantagraph.com reports.