Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Texas Will Require Students to Complete Four Years of Science and Math: More Yee Haw for Schools

Texas Will Require Students to Complete Four Years of Science and Math

Beginning with freshmen in 2007-2008, Texas will require students to complete four years of science and math to graduate from high school. Struggling students may have the requirement reduced to three years of math and two years of science with school and parent permission. Teachers of electives concerned about their subject areas are asking state lawmakers to raise the number of elective credits for graduation. The only other state with a four-year requirement is Alabama. To read more in this online story from the Dallas Morning News, visit

North Carolina now requires Biology, Earth/Environmental Science, and one physical science, and 4 years of math only if the potential graduate is seeking admission to the UNC system of 4-year colleges.
(4th credit effective for first time ninth graders in 2002-2003)

Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and higher level math course with Algebra II as prerequisite OR Integrated Mathematics I, II, III, and a credit beyond Integrated Mathematics III.

CAREER PREP and COLLEGE TECH PREP Course of Study Requirements in mathematics require only 3 credits. These students are on a career pathway to attend 2 year community colleges and then transfer to a 4 year college, go to work, or the military. I understand through the grapevine that some higher level talks in our state are suggesting we do away with these two less challenging pathways for graduation. This could spell trouble IMHO. I remember when our schools removed summer school programs and said it was a waste of time and money. Drop out rates remained high and students continued to fail and those that could bare the stigma and stick around for a 5th year of high school finally, sometimes by the Grace of God, somehow passed enough courses to graduate. Are our students going to be better off with more science and math courses on the high school transcript? That is a good question. Will it increase our all ready horrible track record of 9th graders never making it to graduation night? I say probably it will. I think the current requirements are challenging for our students. I could see how it would make our state's curriculum look good, but how will it impact the lives of our students? What does the research say? Is the research valid and compelling?

Lots of questions. I have no answers, and am glad I am in the classroom, not having to way this issue. It is too hot to worry about it. My gout is trying to flare up and I need to get some more work done before starting back to work the 15th of August --

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