Sunday, August 5, 2012

Response to a Campaign for Cursive letter

Thank you for contacting the California Department of Education (CDE) regarding penmanship. I appreciate that you have taken the time to share your perspective on this issue.
California’s standards were designed to encourage the highest achievement of every student by defining the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire at each grade level. The English-Language Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve were adopted by the California State Board of Education on November 14, 1997. You will find the standards on the CDE Content Standards Web page at
At every grade level, the English-Language Arts standards cover reading, writing, written and oral English language conventions, and listening and speaking. Grade by grade, the standards create a vision of a balanced and comprehensive language arts program, and penmanship is no exception. In particular, the content standards include penmanship as part of Writing Strategies. Emphasizing legible print and cursive writing, penmanship begins in kindergarten and extends through high school. In this way, penmanship is a well-defined thread that is woven throughout the document.
The following are just a few examples of English-Language Arts content standards that focus on penmanship skills throughout a California student's school career:
· Kindergarten Writing Strategies, Penmanship, 1.4: [Students] write uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet independently, attending to the form and proper spacing of the letters.
· Grade 4 Writing Strategies, Penmanship, 1.4: [Students] write fluidly and legibly in cursive or joined italic.
· Grades 9 and 10 Written and Oral English Language Conventions, Manuscript Form, 1.4: [Students] produce legible work that shows accurate spelling and correct use of the conventions of punctuation and capitalization.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the Literacy, History, and Arts Leadership Office by phone at 916-323-6269.

Again, thank you for contacting the CDE.


Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

1 comment:

  1. The California standards allow using either "cursive or joined italic." What is the "Campaign for Cursive's" position on joined italic?