The Texas Tribune reports that Algebra II is no longer a hard requirement for the high school graduation in the State of Texas. The State Board of Education, after a rather controversial session, voted 14-1 (with all but one Democrat supporting the measure) to eliminate the moderately advanced math course from those required for graduation.
Fear over the elimination of Algebra II was a prevalent fear among many (including this blog) last spring, when the Legislature debated a significantly comprehensive education-reform bill. In June, when Governor Perry signed the bill, I explained that five different “tracks” would be created for high school graduation. These would each include a requirement for a fourth year of math, but the Legislature declined to note what level of match would specifically be required.
Accordingly, the State Board of Education stepped in to clear up the confusion. In many of the graduation tracks, the Algebra II requirement was dropped. Last I checked, when remedial options such as dropping Algebra II are invoked, one surrenders her or his ability to qualify for either the “Top 10%/8% rule” or the “CAP program” for admission into a Texas university. Additionally, students graduating with the remedial diplomas would do much worse in college admissions.