The Chronicle reports that Senator Dan Patrick has a new education bill that would eliminate the requirement for High School students to take Algebra II in order to graduate. SB3 would make vocational and technical training much easier for High Schoolers, eliminating the requirement of some higher-level classes, including Algebra II. The opponents of Patrick’s bill [rightly] say that it waters down academic standards and will further diminish the declining education of the average Texan.
I took Algebra II in the 10th grade (not too many years ago), and, for what it’s worth, hate does not even begin to describe how much disdain I felt towards this concept of mathematics–though Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry was probably worse. However, I understand that it is absolutely necessary in order to be a functional member of society. As little as I use advanced math at this point in my life, I find it useful that I had to develop the logic to do so. Plus, I really can’t see myself doing very well on the SATs if I didn’t know advanced Algebra.
This is probably a little far-fetched, but it also distresses me to see Republicans attempt to dismantle the education system. Without an effective one, social mobility will just be a relic of the past. Perhaps that is Senator Patrick’s goal.