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Michigan Lawmakers Want to Backtrack on Math Requirement


Michigan is the only state in the country that requires students to take Algebra II in order to graduate. But maybe not for long.

Legislators there are considering making Algebra II optional. This would undo Michigan's move in 2006 to require it for graduation.

The Senate and House are considering different versions of the change, but both would allow students to meet the Algebra II requirement through career and tech ed courses.

The sentiment behind the backtracking is familiar: fear of an impending train wreck of dropouts. Michigan's governor, Jennifer Granholm, who signed the 2006 law, is holding out for the tougher approach.


I am not sure requiring Algebra II is a "tougher approach." It is virtually essential for college admission and other forms of preparation for a successful working and citizenship life after high school. Not requiring--or, worse, not providing--Algebra II might better be called the "tougher approach," as in "That's tough; we don't care about educating you."

I am all for Algebra II to be a requirement for graduation. I know it is not that easy, but it is time to wake up America. Elsewhere, students don't have that many options when attending high schools, and that's one of the reasons why we are behind when compared with the rest of the world in Mathematics and science. Students need to take more responsibilities to get them ready for college...

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