Subtracting algebra 2 from graduation requirements draws mixed o - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Subtracting algebra 2 from graduation requirements draws mixed opinions

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The debate rages on in Austin over algebra 2, and whether or not it should be a requirement for students to earn their high school diplomas.

For the past few years, most students have needed four credits of math, science, social studies and English language arts to graduate, but math might get subtracted next year if some politicians in Austin get their way.

Algebra 2 is offered in every public high school in the state, but not all math is considered equal.

In May, the state legislature voted to remove algebra 2 as a graduation requirement.

The state board of education reworked the diploma system, with the lowest level requiring algebra 1, geometry and another math class.

Higher levels demand four years of math and advanced classes.

"Math is progressive," said Elizabeth Lyons, owner of Mathnasium of North Dallas. "One year builds upon the next and the next and the next, so any form of moving math out of a school is alarming…is a little scary to me."

Some state lawmakers think that career training classes are better for kids who don't plan to go to college, and two students in the same algebra 2 class at Conrad High School have differing viewpoints on the subject.

"I think we should get rid of Algebra 2 because there is a lot of process," said junior Bae Mesh.

"They should keep it," said junior Zonquei Tung.

"Algebra 2 is something that kids have to know and be very comfortable with before they can move on to a calculus or even a higher math, which is prepping them for college and those higher-paying jobs," said Lyons.

Texas A&M President Ray Keck echoes that viewpoint.

"The point is not to say to a seventh and eighth grader, ‘You decide for the rest of your life whether you want to go to college, and if you make the wrong choice, it's unfortunate,'" said Keck.

The state school board hasn't made a decision on the fate of algebra 2 yet.

Thursday, Texas education agency commissioner Michael Williams will address the panel, and there's a special task force to look at changes to admission standards based on this mathematical decision.

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