With a 14 to 1 vote, the Texas Board of Education officially dropped Algebra 2 as a graduation requirement for most high school students today, reports the Associated Press.
The board gave preliminary approval for the change, which was meant to offer students more flexibility to focus on career and vocational training, in November. Critics have argued that fewer students would take Algebra 2 if it were not a degree requirement (though the 20 percent of students on a minimum academic plan already had the option to earn a diploma without the course). My colleague Erik Robelen wrote up the details here.
Yesterday, the board also approved the development of two new courses students could take in place of Algebra 2: algebraic reasoning and statistics. This will give students in smaller districts, many of which only offered Algebra 2, a few classes to choose from.
In addition to sealing the deal on Algebra 2, today's vote slashed the number of standardized test high school students must take from 15 to five.