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Wisconsin Bill Aims to Beef Up Math, Science Requirements

By guest blogger Alyssa Morones

The Wisconsin Senate approved a bill this week that would raise the number of math and science credits students must earn to graduate high school from two to three in each subject, the Associated Press reports.

The change comes as school districts statewide begin to implement the Common Core State Standards, which set the expectation that all students will successfully complete math coursework through the Algebra 2 level.

The bipartisan legislation, approved by a voice vote, would put Wisconsin more in line with its neighboring states, according to an Associated Press story. At the same time, the bill allows for more flexibility in student course selection, the story explains. Computer science classes can now count as a math credit and students can receive a science credit for an agricultural-science course under the legislation. Also, the measure reportedly hands schools greater flexibility in awarding math and science credits to students enrolled in career and technical education programs.

Wisconsin isn't the only state to allow to allow new leeway in granting credits. In Idaho, the state board of education recently took action to allow computer science and engineering courses to count as math or science credits. (Previously, they would only count for elective credit.) The change was enacted to encourage student exposure to technology and engineering, especially in light of the country's focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

Meanwhile, a new law in Washington makes clear that students who complete an AP computer science course can earn a math or science credit.

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