I feel that it is absolutely critical that there be a broader conversation in the development of curriculum not only for the 'practical' value of a skill, which is transient to culture values, but for the developmental value of skill training and education on a neurophysiological level.
It is absolutely imperative that a revision of educational curriculum be evaluated in light of modern developmental biology and not purely in light of market projection for job availability. I would much rather see a society of competent, healthy, intelligent, and adaptable human beings capable of learning than to see an army of trained employees.
Cursive is a primary example of this. The training of classical methods of writing have developed over a long period of experimentation and selection, formatting the mind in a particular way. This is demonstrated with classical music training in neuroscience. The neurological configuration of classical piano is recognizeable by brain scan without knowing previously if that person was trained in music or not. The extensiblity of this principle has been demonstrated in other instances of language and tool use. It more broadly can be taken to understand that education and experience, or practice with a tool, methodology, or practice, formats and conditions the physical central nervous system. (See research by Nina Kraus on language, music, and the brain, her studies regarding the development and structure of brainstem nerve networks is incredible, here is a video lecture on some of her research: Nina Kraus: Music and Language - A Brain Partnership)
With this understanding in mind we can look at the value of learning cursive as actually learning to see the world through the eyes of those who have learned and developed that skill before us. To have insight into the understandings of the past we must adopt the practices of the past and build upon them. If we read the writings of those who wrote, and most importantly, thought through cursive writing in pen and ink without understanding those skills then we lack a certain vocabulary and context for the pace, structure, and beauty of articulation that their thoughts have.
Language is one of the foundational skills and tools of being human and written language and music are possibly, still, the most profound technologies that humans have next to mathematics and computation, both of which are systems of symbolic representation that build upon this skill. The value of literacy in learning can almost never be understated. The ability to acquire those skills which enable further and future learning in an organized process which refines and improves skill and understanding is an essential foundation of education. (See the Englebart Institute for bootstrapping humanity's potential, he was the inventor of the computer mouse, monitor, and GUI, he is an iconclast of human and American innovation, thought, and potential of the 21st century, I can’t recommend him enough)
Literacy is also one of the areas that America falls behind in. America tails the world in literacy, numeracy, financial literacy, and computer literacy, despite being the most powerful and wealthiest nations for the last century. This is untenable. Correcting it begins with mathematics, language, and music education in the schools, in the home, and in one’s self.
I strongly encourage all students to be infinitely curious of the world around you. Listen to and learn from but never settle for the understandings of others. Explore, know, and see for yourself what something is and communicate that understanding. Philosophy, epistemology, gnosis, and communicating that understanding with another are some of the most beautiful experiences in life. To know a thing, one’s self, or another, is an experience I wish upon everyone. I wholeheartedly agree that the unexamined life is not worth living.
To practice cursive is not simply to 'write' or to make shapes with letters, it is learning to listen to the minds, experiences, and cultures of all those who came before you and glimpse into the world which they found beautiful, enigmatic, perplexing, revelatory, and meaningful. It takes time to write something with elegance and practiced form. It takes considerable conditioning to understand what beautiful script, sentence, form, and thought are. It takes even more time to be able to produce elegant works. It is an art.
Do not rob children of the opportunity for beauty and meaning in life. This is not a matter of talent. It is not a matter of gifts. Writing is not something only for poets and philosophers. It is used by everyone everyday in our society and holds the potential to enrich anyone’s life. It is a matter of curiosity, of beauty, of appreciation, and of patience. It is not just a skill, it is an investment of value in their very capacity for knowledge, learning, and beauty.