Graduation curriculum may no longer require Algebra II

Graduation curriculum may no longer require Algebra II

POSTED: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 9:54pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 9:55pm

In a 14-1 vote last November, the State Board of Education agreed to not require Algebra 2 in order to graduate from high school. 

Now the board will be faced with the same problem only this time come January 31, the vote will be definitive and official. 

But Executive Director of Region 19 warns this is not a positive change that should be welcomed.

"If you don't take algebra 2 and are trying to go to college, chances are you are not getting into college," said Jimmy Vasquez, Executive Director for Region 19.

He said that most colleges are now requiring algebra 2 as a requirement to get accepted, and if it's not being required, students won't make the initiative to take it. 

"You have to complete it, do well in it, so when you are getting ready to make the decision of what you want to do with the rest of your life, you are prepared in your decision of going to college or not," said Vasquez.

And State Board member for District 1 said she voted against the proposal in November and will do it again come January. 

"How can you say additional education is negative. Education is the one thing that people can not take away from us once we have obtained it," said board member Martha M Dominguez.

EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera said that the amendment has enough flexibility for his district to continue to require this math course. 

"There is flexibility in this law that will allow us to continue to require algebra 2 in our district for graduation, so that's what we will do., said Cabrera. 

In addition to possibly keeping the math course, Cabrera said he will also require one more course. 

"Because we want to continue with our goal of a holistic education, the district will also require a speech class in order to graduate, even though it's not required by the state," he said. "We believe speech is an important course that will help the student get well rounded." 

It's that well rounded education that one Franklin High School student said will help future graduates compete nation wide. 

"If you want to leave the country, or even the state, those students are taking algebra two," said junior Haewon Ma. "So if we want to compete nationally or globally, we first need to start in our own district."

Region 19 will have a meeting where parents can show their support to keep algebra 2 tomorrow, and the state board representatives will have the final say on January 31.  

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