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SBOE backs down on Algebra 2

So much for that.

Only high school students who pursue an honors plan or a diploma specializing in math and science will have to take algebra II under recommendations that the Texas State Board of Education preliminarily approved Thursday.

Despite an initial proposal that had included the advanced math course in all five new diploma plans, the 15-member board was nearly unanimous in its decision Thursday. The single no vote came from Martha Dominguez, D-El Paso.

“I think what we’ve done so far tonight accomplishes what we’ve been charged to do,” said member Marty Rowley, R-Amarillo.

The board, which has the responsibility of determining which courses school districts should offer in five separate endorsements as a part of an overhaul passed by the Legislature in May, has had two days of testimony and discussion on the topic. That included an unexpected visit from House Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, and Senate Education Chairman Dan Patrick, R-Houston. Both lawmakers urged the board to reserve as much flexibility for local school districts as possible — and not to require algebra II to fulfill all of the graduation plans.

See here for the background. While this is over for now, I have always believed that the issue will continue to be debated and refined in the Legislature. There just isn’t sufficient consensus on the matter, and some of the proponents of Algebra 2 have a strong voice. Keep an eye on any candidates that make noise about it, too. I don’t know what form this debate will take in 2015, I just feel confident that it will happen. Texpatriate has more.

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2 Comments

  1. Doug Hunter says:

    Given the questionable math used by the likes of Patrick, Aycock, and other elected officials, I think more math might improve future candidates understanding of complex affairs.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Anyone who has ever been to a store where a clerk has no idea how to make change without looking at their cash register should support more required math classes…..for everyone. And the nice thing about math is, there can be no “it’s not fair, it’s culturally biased” complaints from the usual suspects.

    Anything that helps kids learn to think and most importantly, learn to learn, is a change for the better.