Dear Editor,
For the past several months I've been in contact with Noblesville Schools administrative personnel, state senators, our local state representative's office and Noblesville school board members exploring the idea of bringing cursive back into Indiana schools.
In 2011 Common Core standards were passed which allowed Indiana Schools to eliminate cursive being taught in the elementary schools. Many school systems then eliminated this skill. In my conversations, particularly with Indiana State Senator Jean Leising, who has championed the cause of restoring cursive back into Indiana schools since that time, there are several things that are happening that you could classify under the category of "unintended consequences." Here are two conversations I've had lately:
  1. A post office employee has told me she had Passport applications denied because the high school applicant couldn't sign their name in cursive.
   2. An employer wrote a note to a student praising him for a job well done. The student had to reluctantly hand the note back, explaining he couldn't read it because it was written in cursive.
  Senator Leising explained to me that she's had conversations with employers who require doing research of historic documents in the courthouses of Indiana. They have told her they would like to offer permanent jobs to interns that have worked for them, but when they can't read cursive, they simply can't hire them. The result?  We are putting our young people who have been educated in the public school system at a disadvantage in the job market. Every private or parochial school I've researched is teaching this skill, so these students have an advantage when they enter the workforce.
  The most recent unintended consequence was highlighted on the front page of your paper today, Oct. 1st. As your article with the headline of "Heart & Soul of Freedom" explained, there is a terrific permanent display at Federal Hill Commons in Noblesville, funded by Vance and Mary Jo Patterson of Morgantown, N.C.  Their vision was to bring life-sized versions of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and our Constitution to inspire us all. Our Congresswoman in Washington, Rep. Susan Brooks, was the keynote speaker last Saturday at the grand opening. Our Mayor John Ditslear said the community can honor our history and teach future generations with the Charters of Freedom. Unfortunately, the ability to read these documents has been eliminated for our young people who are now between the ages of 9 and 17 years old.
   What can we do to change this? 
   Make it known to your child's teachers that you want cursive brought back. If enough teachers hear your concerns, they can bring it to their meetings with administration.
   E-mail or call (317) 773-3171 Noblesville Schools Administration. Superintendent Dr. Beth Niedermeyer's e-mail is beth_niedermeyer@nobl.k12.in.us. The elementary curriculum director is Dr. Jennifer Wheat Townsend jen_townsend@nobl.k12.in.us.
   E-mail or call your Noblesville School Board members. Its president is Carl Johnson, carl_johnson@nobl.k12.in.us.
   E-mail or call your State Senator, Victoria Spartz, Senator.Spartz@iga.in.gov and / or your State Representative Chuck Goodrich, h29@iga.in.gov.
   We all want our young people to succeed. Let's help them.
Patty Mac Innis
Noblesville