North Carolina is one of 46 states and the District of Columbia to adopt the new Common Core State Standards, a set of national education standards that, among other things, omits cursive but includes keyboard proficiency.
According to Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Olmstead, the schools had previously been teaching cursive writing starting in third grade, reports the Daily Reflector. Now, students will transition from finishing learning how to print in second grade, to keyboarding skills in third grade.
With teachers having so much other material to cover, they are left with no time for cursive, the district officials say, according to WNCT.
While some see no need for cursive with the advent of texting and other computerized writing methods, Pitt County School Board Member Marc Whichard says he would like to see the skill remain in the curriculum.
"I think it's going to be important for us to hear from teachers about where they feel constraints are as far as where they can teach it, and when they can teach it, but we do want some sort of systematic program across the district,” Whichard told WNCT.
Olmstead tells the Daily Reflector of Greenville that a team of educators is working to figure out where to fit cursive writing into the curriculum so that students will have a recognizable signature. She says the district hopes to have a plan in place next year.