Home / Texas Drops Algebra II as Graduation Requirement

Texas Drops Algebra II as Graduation Requirement

Students in the south can rejoice knowing that Texas has dropped algebra II as a graduation requirement. At first, the state started the trend by making high school students take on algebra II but they are now abandoning that policy in a move praised by school districts for affording more flexibility. This move makes some policy makers nervous because 20 states have followed Texas’ lead in requiring the rigorous course.

algebra II class

Algebra II class which will no longer exist in Texas.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Supporters say fewer course mandates give students more time to focus on vocational training for high-paying jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree, such as at Toyota’s factory in San Antonio or oil and giant BASF’s facilities on the Gulf Coast per Christian Science Monitor.

But critics say Texas is lowering its standards. They noted that test scores and graduation rates have risen since the tougher curriculum was adopted in 2006.

“Algebra II is a really, really powerful predictive value on whether kids go to college, but it goes on and on after that: more likely to have a full-time job, have a job with benefits, be healthier,” said Patte Barth, director of the Center for Public Education, a policy group affiliated with the National School Board Association.

“It’s not just for the college bound.”

Sixteen other states and the District of Columbia now require students take algebra II for most students, with Minnesota and Connecticut jumping on the bandwagon soon. But Texas will join Florida – which so happen to be two of the country’s most populous states – in dropping the requirement when its Board of Education gives final approval to a curriculum overhaul next week.

This move is prompting some education groups to keep close tabs on other states as Texas’ classroom policy can have national impact. The state’s relies heavy on tougher standardized testing under then Gov. George W. Bush became the ideal for the federal No Child Left Behind law.

About Chelsea Alves

  • sunnycalif

    The dumbing down of America begins in Texas. Creationism anyone?

    • mareshie

      Maybe in favor of ESL, assuming the group picture is representative.

  • wigglwagon

    The Republican party is working hand in hand with Democrats to enact another big free trade agreement with several Asian countries. Apparently neither party is through moving factories and millions of jobs to other countries. It is my humble opinion that people who have mastered algebra II will be the ones most likely to find jobs in a factoryless America. I still do not understand why BOTH Democrats and Republicans hate factories.

    • facefault

      The value of unskilled factory labor is not high enough to match the cost of living in America. That’s why having most factories based in countries where the cost of living is well below that in the US is better than having them based in America.

      That also helps the developing world grow, while Americans can switch to higher-skilled jobs. It’s economically more efficient. It’s painful for unskilled Americans, but in the end it’s better for everyone.

    • DakotaNM57

      It has nothing to do with hating factories. But this move into the past comes as a surprise at a time when manufacturing is steadily becoming more automated.
      Even more surprising is Toyota was mentioned. The auto manufacturer which is leading the race to automation.

    • KingathaRoad

      The only way to have a NWO is to indoctrinate everyone into doing the same thing as one big happy family. The best way to do that is, you get everyone on the same page, i.e. same money, same democracy, same consumption and manufacturing, etc. That means spreading throughout the whole planet, get it? Oh, and let’s not forget ruining the greatest country in the world by degrees to help ensure homogenization of all peoples into a pliable worker force or government reliant lower class on the dole, to vote the ruling class into perpetuity.

  • Dick Fabulous

    Yeah good idea, replace it with a class on intelligent design. Actually no, replace it with a class on unintelligent school policy decision making.

  • moneywhereyourmouthis

    So teaching less makes people know… more? The reasoning being: advanced mathematics is taking away precious time which could be used preparing for low skilled manufacturing jobs.

    • facefault

      And between automation and outsourcing, those jobs probably aren’t going to be there in ten years. While I’m all for vocational education, skipping Algebra II is foolish and short-sighted.

  • steinerrw

    Everyone knows you don’t need algebra II to flip burgers.

  • SpartanWarrior

    Algebra sucks because there’s no tangible output to it other than just “showing your work”. Replace it with computer programming – just as rigorous and challenging, but ten times more rewarding and pertinent

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