Is the ‘math myth’ holding back students who don’t need it?

The Oklahoman, news interview, 5/26/2016

Are high school algebra requirements a needless stumbling block or a necessary bridge to success? The answer depends on who you ask.

If you ask advocates of the new common core standards, more algebra is better. Common Core, now adopted by 46 states, requires high school students to pass Algebra II.

Ironically, one of the states that won’t be participating is Texas, which dropped its Algebra II graduation requirement in 2014, after being one of the first states to adopt the requirement in the early 2000s. Texas dropped its requirement under pressure from local industry groups, who argued that career readiness did not require higher math, and that the Algebra 2 requirement was preventing kids from graduating.

Andrew Hacker, a retired political science professor who spent most of his career at Queens College in New York City, has become the leading national spokesman for the controversial notion that we ask our high school students to do too much math.

What do you think?

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