Skip to comments.Requiring Algebra II in high school gains momentum nationwide
Posted on 04/05/2011 5:39:25 AM PDT by reaganaut1
With its intricate mysteries of quadratics, logarithms and imaginary numbers, Algebra II often provokes a lament from high-schoolers.
What exactly does this have to do with real life?
The answer: maybe more than anyone could have guessed.
Of all of the classes offered in high school, Algebra II is the leading predictor of college and work success, according to research that has launched a growing national movement to require it of graduates.
In recent years, 20 states and the District have moved to raise graduation requirements to include Algebra II, and its complexities are being demanded of more and more students.
The effort has been led by Achieve, a group organized by governors and business leaders and funded by corporations and their foundations, to improve the skills of the workforce. Although U.S. economic strength has been attributed in part to high levels of education, the workforce is lagging in the percentage of younger workers with college degrees, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
But exactly how to raise the education levels of the U.S. workforce is a matter of debate. And whether learning Algebra II causes students to fare better in life, or whether it is merely correlated with them doing better because smart, motivated kids take Algebra II isnt clear. Meanwhile, some worry that Algebra II requirements are leading some young people to quit school.
The District this year joins other states requiring high school graduates to meet the Achieve standards that include Algebra II; Maryland and Virginia do not.
But no state has pushed Algebra II more than Arkansas, which began requiring the class last year for most graduates
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
A large fraction of the population does not have the capacity for abstract thinking to do Algebra II, and I don't want to stamp them all as "high school drop-outs", at least not until a meaningful junior high school diploma is created, certifying that someone can read and do arithmetic through fractions.
Someone needs to look up ‘substitute variable’.Algebra II doesn’t cause people to do better at all these diverse activities, instead people who can do well in Algebra and have the motivation to try are the people who will do well at other things.
LOL! I barely passed Algebra I.
Sadly, Math was the only subject that kept me off the honor roll in High School.
I’d be happy if schools required students to be able to write a paragraph with correct spelling and punctuation.
In English I presume.
High school honor roll and college Dean's list here, and I struggled through high school Algebra. In the end I had to drop Trig - too many cricket sounds going on in my head.
Interestingly I loved Geometry. For some reason I found it very "concrete." My degree is in English...connection?
Hmmm, my kids had Algebra 2 wired by third grade (age 10).
Amazing what you can do with Saxon Math (using the old, hardcover books though)...if you’re willing to make the kid SIT DOWN and actually do problems (all problems) without a calculator.
And I’m not the only one around here with those results.
Should be in elementary school! Have you seen students’ (including college) writing skills?
Yes, they're called liberals.
Algebra II is not hard. I went to a private high school, and until reading this argument I thought public schoolers were required to take Algebra II just like I was.
I think you’re correct. Correlation does not imply causation, and in this case there is a correlation between work ethic and how one does in more advanced classes like Algebra II. That same work ethic also propels a person to go to college, or otherwise make something of themselves.
See, I can make logical connections. ;-)
Our local public school requires Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and one other Math course that meets either Math Models with Application (prior to enrollment in Algebra II) or any Math course with Algebra II as a prerequisite.
In addition, high school geometry is taught in a similar way to upper level undergraduate and graduate level math: It is based on proofs. Proofs make things feel more concrete, and they can actually be easy to follow. But high school Algebra is not usually taught with proofs, so the students are left wondering where all these concepts came from.
All math is, in some form or another, directly related to geometry, especially statistical theory.
Haha! Kind of like, "If the hypotenuse is length 5, and one of the sides is length 1, then how is your black friend Billy being oppressed by evil, white Christian American society?"
By the look of the drop out rates and the general ignorance of the populace at large, maybe they should just stick to basic readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic...
I had it on my wall for years.
Whenever one of our engineers made a stupid mistake, I'd point to it and say, “ahh, I see you graduated from Rosie U.”
I was gone for a couple of weeks and it disappeared. The quote may be gone but the ignorance remains.
They ought to -- if not there should be alternatives for them to move into a different stream. I believe calculus should be on the books for high school students
Thanks for that reply...you have no idea how much sense that makes to me. I am a true visual learner and I also have a great memory. I actually found doing the proofs fun, and surprisingly not much of a challenge.
And I DID memorize the Pythagorean theorem, so I got something out of the deal.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.