Do Students Need Algebra II?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LANSING -- Michigan high school students could skip algebra II and still graduate under legislation approved by the state House.
Lawmakers voted 97-10 Wednesday to pass the bill, which now goes to the Senate.
It likely will face opposition from Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who has said she doesn't want to water down Michigan's tough high school graduation standards.
The tougher requirements were to apply to this year's incoming juniors. Four years of math were mandated, including algebra II.
The House bill would require the same number of math credits. But financial literacy and certain math-related career and technical education courses could replace algebra II. Some classes also could replace geometry.
Michigan's graduation standards would not change in other subject areas.


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  • by Jason Location: Smith on Sep 7, 2009 at 07:33 AM
    Hey, LegallyRad, Catholic education is NOT superior to public education. Obviously you were brainwashed as a child. I work with a bunch of Catholic spoiled kids and I think they missed out on a lot of basic skills needed to survive in life. All they got was a brainwashing education funded by their rich parents.
  • by Jason Location: Jackson on Sep 6, 2009 at 08:24 PM
    In response to Bill: It's amazing you graduated with a 3.5 gpa. My daughter who is 8 can use better grammar and spell much better...
  • by Bill Location: Stockbridge on Sep 5, 2009 at 11:13 PM
    Yeah, I didn't take no math in school when I graduated back in 25 years ago. I have been working in the field of driving a towing truck and owning my own towing business for 20 of those years. I can do my own paperwork, file my own taxes, and take care of my own expenseses on my own with out the need of hireing a sechretary. Back when I was in high school, the office told us that we could opt out of any math classes if it didn't meet our requirements. I was taking inturstral arts and we needed basic mathemits for measuring and reading and so on, but that's it. I was able to graduate, and start my own business 5 years later and I only needed 1 matemitecs class and I gradated with a 3.5 grade point. So point is , some people need math and some dont. Those who want to work on computers or sell computer related items, or mechanices, or construckton bulidlrs they all need it. but deep sea fishermen, farmers, garbage truck drivers, tow truck drivers, loggers, they don't need it.
  • by Dave Location: East Lansing on Sep 5, 2009 at 04:57 PM
    My apology. In post #2 I meant to state, "75% of what is now Algebra I used to be called Algebra II..." This information is drawn from a comparison of State Curriculum prior to and after the new MMC.
  • by Equation on Sep 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM
    Here is the problem. I posted comment #11 and one page says 11 comments the other says 10. Now this should be # 12. This is why we need more math.
  • by Equation on Sep 4, 2009 at 10:08 AM
    Fact - The more math you are capable of learning the better off you will be. Even the the most creative musicians and artists get ripped off by their accountants. I took college prep classes in high school in the seventies including Algebra I and Geometry. So I know square when I see one. The most valuable was my General Business Course. Does anyone remember that class. It was all about BUDGETING. Evidently our politicians did not and I dare say some of the so called expert economists have failed miserably. I never did go to college. I am now the first millionaire in my family and I never owned my own business, I did not inherit a single dime of wealth. What I did do is go to work every single day, lived within my means and BUDGETED. As you can see I may not be the most literate person when posting but with the love of parents and the strong influence of math I've done pretty well. I have no opinion one way or another but MATH will definitely help you achieve more in life.
  • by teacher on Sep 4, 2009 at 03:19 AM
    I do not think that Algebra 2 should be required for graduation. I do think, however, that students should have to take a minimum of 3 full year academic classes their senior year. Before the new requirements, many seniors had senior year schedules full of easy classes that allowed them to have a "fun" year. That put them in a situation where they slacked off their senior year and arrived at college having forgotten much of what they had learned. I believe our students need 4 years of rigorous classes, but in an area that relates to what they want to do in the future, not just in math.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 3, 2009 at 12:32 PM
    There are two types of students. The ones who want the easy A's to show off their high grades or the ones who know thatyou can earn more by struggling and barely passing a course. Is this state filled with a bunch of slackers or filled with people who are determined to overcome every obstacle?
  • by Mike Location: Lansing on Sep 3, 2009 at 11:53 AM
    As an educator I agree with the Shelltrown approach that gives students options for graduation. Algebra 2 is only one of a number of courses the Michigan Merit Core Curriculum mandated that strengthen our State's curriculum for high schoolers. The Algebra 2 requirement was arrived at as a political benchmark insofar as it was a predictor of college success that reached across racial lines. Students who passed Alg. 2 were equally as likely to graduate from college regardless of race. The question which was never asked was: is that a measure or a predictor? Does passing Alg 2 make you pass college or is it a convenient yardstick for those who pass college? One helps you pass the other just measures those who did. Regarding Cathy's issue with declining test scores. Test scores have declined (on the ACT and it's derivitives such as the MME) because they were traditionally taken by college bound kids and are now taken by ALL kids including those who will never go. FYI
  • by Dave Location: Litchfield on Sep 3, 2009 at 09:32 AM
    What a disappointment; a 'watering down' of the math requirement. Besides not seeing the plight of the poor and unemployed in Michigan our state legislators are blind to the fact that IT IS a technological world now. To do the jobs that support this world, one needs all the mathematics training one can get. By each lowering of the standards of education, the legislators have condemned the futures of our kids, the nation, and the state to ignorance and poverty. On the other hand, they may be thinking that an uneducated populace will follow them blindly (and keep re-electing them to office).
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