A widely shared TikTok video says schools have stopped teaching cursive writing to prevent students from reading the U.S. Constitution and understanding their rights. There is no such conspiracy. And if there was, it wouldn’t work as all of America’s founding documents are widely available in other formats and fonts.
The almost 1-minute long TikTok video, which can be seen vm.tiktok.com/ZMex88JsL/ , has been shared more than 11,900 times since it was posted on March 18. Posts sharing the clip on Facebook and Twitter are visible here and here .
“Do you know why they stopped teaching cursive to children in elementary school?” the woman in the video asks around timestamp 00:35. “Well, I’ll tell you why, it’s because our Constitution, our Bill of Rights is written in cursive, and they no longer want generations from here on now to know how to read it.”
The original founding documents of the United States, which include the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States, are on permanent display in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom at the National Archives Museum in Washington D.C. ( here ).
Digital transcripts of these documents in block letters are available on the website of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration www.archives.gov/founding-docs and www.archives.gov/espanol .
Schools in the United States are not required to teach cursive writing under guidelines set out in 2010 in the Common Core State Standards, which presents educational standards for English language, arts and mathematics in grades K-12 ( here ) . The Washington Post reported on the decision here.
Among the reasons for the change were the increased use of technology for communication and feedback from teachers themselves, Sue Pimentel, one of the lead writers of the English/language arts standards, explained to Education Week in 2016 here.
A spokesperson for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) told Reuters via email that while their organization sets certain benchmarks, each state adopts the Common Core State Standards as “they see fit to best serve the needs of their students,” and can therefore opt into requiring cursive.
Some states have continued to teach cursive writing. Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, cursive was added back into elementary school curriculum of all Texas districts ( here ). A bill passed in 2014 in Tennessee made cursive a mandatory subject in grades two through four ( here ). By 2019, similar measures had been introduced in Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, California, Florida and North Carolina ( here ).
False. Although it is not part of the Common Core State Standards guidance, each state and U.S. territory can choose whether to teach cursive writing. Versions of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are widely available online and in print in a variety of formats and fonts.
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