A great discussion. I really enjoyed it.
With regard to cursive writing, it is still being taught here, in Germany, as far as I am aware, and it is certainly a skill that is still needed on a daily basis, taking down quick notes, shopping lists, jotting things down during a telephone conversation etc.
I learnt the English system of cursive in school, but I can read all of the German variants, although with the older ones, I have to concentrate to understand them.
I once worked a job wherein I alternated work nights with a co-worker. We occasionally needed to communicate between ourselves with hand written notes. His cursive hand writing was so bad (IMHO) that I had to really concentrate to read it, and guess my way through. (Wasting at least 5 or more minutes.) Eventually I got so tired of this, I would leave him notes that were deliberately as sloppily written as I could manage. Unsurprisingly, after a few times of doing this, his hand writing magically became more readable