It may not come as a shock to you today to find out that most elementary schools no longer teach cursive handwriting. When I learned that several years ago I was rather shocked and a bit outraged/saddened to hear it because it is something that, as a designer, I use quite often.
The Common Core State Standards for teaching were introduced in 2010 and with it brought quite a debate about the actual quality of those standards. This is not a commentary on Common Core but such great public outcry led to many different solutions to keep writing as an educational component. Some schools worked it back into the language arts curriculum, some parents now teach it in their homes, and one school in Ohio is even teaching it as an arts class.
The last solution is the most interesting to me as art is likely the most common use* of cursive today. Yes, handwritten notes are lovely but with technology today literally at our fingertips it's not the go-to communication any more. BUT! By teaching it as an art at a young age we ingrain the idea to combine imagination with a basic form of communication which can only lead to beautifully crafted phrases, logos, posters, paintings, labels, signs, and other creatively designed pieces. Hand lettering teaches patience, planning, layout, hierarchy, color balance... it's a gateway drug for good design.
It wasn't so long ago, and likely still happens, that teens were discouraged by their loved ones from pursuing a career in the art fields because, "You can't make a living that way". That may have been true and sometimes still can be but we have the joy of living in a time when so many graphic designers are proving that commerce not only needs beautiful design but are using it to fund their own passion projects. Jessica Hische is a typographer but first became known for her hand lettered Daily Drop Caps series, Darren Booth creates beautiful illustrations and hand letterings, Ged Palmer, Kyle Steed, Tom Lane and so many more keep combining art and letters to create both commercial work and meaningful art and design. So the next time someone complains about Common Core or cursive being a lost art, let them know that it's not lost and it is art. That it's something worth pursuing and learning and combining with a bit of imagination.
*Totally just my humble opinion :)