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Trend-starting Texas
drops algebra II mandate

Associated Press, by Will Weissert

Original Article

Posted By:earlybird, 1/25/2014 5:48:35 PM

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas started a trend by making most of its high school students tackle algebra II. But eight years later, the state often watched for education policy is abandoning the requirement. The move is being praised by school districts for affording them more flexibility. But some policy experts are nervous because nearly 20 states have since followed Texas´ lead in requiring the advanced math course. Supporters say fewer curriculum mandates give students more time to focus on vocational training for high-paying jobs that don´t necessarily require a college degree.


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Reply 1 - Posted by: richwill, 1/25/2014 5:58:42 PM     (No. 9705725)

Some universities have discontinued studying the classics, no more Shakespeare, Creating liberal democrat voters by dumbing down the nation.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Safari Man, 1/25/2014 6:18:07 PM     (No. 9705740)

Yup, vocational training. It makes more sense to teach English as a Second Language and taco rolling.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Safari Man, 1/25/2014 6:21:22 PM     (No. 9705744)

BTW, this link works


Thank you for supplying correct link. Sometimes they change at source after article is posted. LCom Staff.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Bohallx, 1/25/2014 6:39:28 PM     (No. 9705753)

Typical of so many Southern states where it is imagined that Algebra is higher math and that you can start it later than 7th grade.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: KTWO, 1/25/2014 6:51:59 PM     (No. 9705764)

I couldn´t link to original article.

My question: "After eight years what did the standardized tests say about the results of the mandate?"

Was it improving math scores?

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Reply 6 - Posted by: anotherctyankee, 1/25/2014 6:55:38 PM     (No. 9705769)

I took Algebra II in a Texas high school a really long time before eight years ago. I thought it was mandatory then(late fifties). I was pretty sure Texas, at least Jefferson County, compared pretty well to other states.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: scottc, 1/25/2014 7:00:37 PM     (No. 9705772)

College algebra covers algebra II so dropping it from High School seems appropriate. For those going on to Universities they can learn it there instead of learning it twice.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: JDD, 1/25/2014 7:07:18 PM     (No. 9705780)

The focus of "education" is to criminalize bullying and to develop "self esteem". No need to needlessly expose the poor little dears to anything mentally challenging.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: kanphil, 1/25/2014 7:10:13 PM     (No. 9705782)

Sounds right to me. Note that they are dropping it as a MANDATORY course. It will still be an option for those who want to go on to technical careers. Let´s face it.
Elementary algebra is all that is necessary for the vast majority of careers today.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: radrelic, 1/25/2014 7:16:20 PM     (No. 9705786)

Peggy Sue knew.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 1/25/2014 7:20:12 PM     (No. 9705791)

We are rapidly losing to the goons.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Bohallx, 1/25/2014 7:28:26 PM     (No. 9705799)

And to think there are still people around who wonder how it is we ended up with another titled nobility who know everything and owe everything.

Well, doggone folks.

Ain´t nothin´ special about Algebra that you´all cain´t larn it!

Better to do it in 7th grade where you are not paying $350 per credit hour like in the private college your wealthy great grandfather bought your way into with his bequest.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: antiquegolf, 1/25/2014 7:32:30 PM     (No. 9705802)

No matter how challenging curriculum standards and graduation requirements are, half the students are still below average.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Pros7767, 1/25/2014 7:41:24 PM     (No. 9705805)

Sorry. I´m for dropping algebra II. How many times in your life have you used it? Wasted time, energy and stress.

Took it in high school and can´t help my son with it. Unless you major in a field where it is needed, there is no point in teaching it.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: doublesharp, 1/25/2014 7:42:46 PM     (No. 9705806)

I´m thrilled to meet a young person who can make change for a dollar without a calculator.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Verdantheart, 1/25/2014 7:45:06 PM     (No. 9705808)

Excellent idea. It´s always been required for the college-bound. But wouldn´t a future barber/stylist/chef etc be better off learning geometry?

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Rafter, 1/25/2014 7:51:35 PM     (No. 9705812)

Much of the math courses you don´t need later.

That´s true not only of Algebra II, but even though I had the highest averages
in my Alg I and Geometry classes, I wonder what we did for nine months
in those courses.

Lots of wasted time on things you won´t ever use again or need later.

Can you still recite the Pythagorean theorem?
You know what the hypotenuse is, don´t you?
You are actually more likely in life to encounter a hippopotamus
than you ever will a hypotenuse.

Why bother with so many things you never see or need again?
My parents were educators, I made very high scores on most subjects.
How much of it is ever used in life?
Mostly you need language and thought processes.

Only a relative few in math related fields need much of the math.
(Far more are doing meth... and they have TV shows about it, too.)

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Reply 18 - Posted by: TulsaTowner, 1/25/2014 8:15:28 PM     (No. 9705818)

I think I understand now where we are getting all the LOFOs.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Grant Hodges, 1/25/2014 8:25:17 PM     (No. 9705820)

You take algebra II to develop your mind.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: TunnelRat, 1/25/2014 8:29:57 PM     (No. 9705823)

High School doesn´t teach students how to get a job, or even how to handle a job interview.

It doesn´t teach how to do your taxes, or even what taxes are.

It doesn´t teach how to find an apartment or how to prepare your own dinner and wash the dishes (and yeah, a lot of kids don´t learn that at home).

It doesn´t teach you how to open a bank account or how to balance your check book.

You don´t learn how to check the oil in your car--let alone change. You don´t even learn how to check the air pressure in your tires.

You don´t learn how to comparison shop.

You don´t learn how to listen to the news with discernment.

You don´t learn how to deal with the police.

I took algebra I and II and Calculus in high school. I have never ever used any of it. Perhaps someone planning to go into engineering or a hard science might have a use for math beyond basic arithmetic or geometry, but few others will ever need it.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: LAW428, 1/25/2014 9:02:06 PM     (No. 9705837)

We need the proletariat, united-workers to fund the Socialist regime. With "common-core" and dumb-down efforts such as this, Big Government Socialist Utopia is just around the corner.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: mackrand, 1/25/2014 9:06:44 PM     (No. 9705841)

I was on TV once or twice and one of those times was just after finishing a Triathlon where I was acting so silly a TV interview ensued. Eye on LA as I remember. I was asked what I got out of competing. I replied, "It was simply knowing I was able to complete the race." That was it. I was proud of what I had done because I knew a whole lot of others could not, either by ability or by slothfullness.

The same goes for all those classes I took in HS preparing me for the wide wide world. All the classes I took that a whole lot of others couldn´t be bothered with because they were too hard, and passed, was and is a source of pride for me. Only me as it turns out because nobody cares if you take Algebra II and pass. All the things you do in life are for you. Nobody else much cares. So I´m with a few others here. I would like to see a lot of classes abolished, mainly Basket Weaving 3 and 4 and all those colored humanity classes that are supreme time wasters.

Algebra II? There is always a need for plumbers and carpenters and automotive techs who will never need it. Keep it elective and for sure offer a lot of basic skill set classes to prepare this society to progress and thrive on those skills learned in shop and VoAg... The ones who will be the scientists and movers and shakers will reach out and learn them without even asking them if they want it...

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Reply 23 - Posted by: texaspast, 1/25/2014 9:50:16 PM     (No. 9705859)

Most lawyers and college professors never use anything they learned in algebra 2, either. I used geometry and a little trig to figure the acreage of a tract of land. But the reality is that hardly anyone on real life uses anything beyond alg. I. I teach college kids who have passed calculus but can´t do simple fractions on their head. A better idea would be to go back to rote memory of math basics - WITHOUT calculators.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: a6bump, 1/25/2014 10:30:56 PM     (No. 9705870)

I agree with #20.

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Reply 25 - Posted by: EnsignOToole, 1/25/2014 10:34:08 PM     (No. 9705871)

There are two camps in the comments here. I think I have one foot in each camp.

Camp #1 - Algebra II is basically a waste of time unless a student is going into a field where it will be used.

Camp #2 - Algebra II and other higher math courses help in training the mind for critical thinking. The military will use that kind of math many times in the course of carrying out their duties in times of war and in training exercises. Let´s hope they know their higher math well. Let´s not forget our space industry relies on people who know their math.

BTW, since when did they start teaching algebra in 7th grade? It was always first taught in the 9th grade followed by plane geometry in 10th grade. Advanced algebra and college algebra were electives as well as trigonometry and calculus usually in the junior and senior years in high school.

As a former teacher, I don´t think kids are ready in the 7th grade to learn algebra. Most kids just aren´t emotionally developed at that age to think in those concepts.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: ZurichMike, 1/25/2014 11:43:55 PM     (No. 9705895)

#26, I learned algebra in the 7th grade (Connecticut). The "smart kids" learned algebra and there was other math instruction for the other kids.

Assuming you got through "smart kid" math, geometry was in 9th grade -- starting with truth tables ("if P, then Q") and then moving on to geometry proofs. It was a gorgeous lesson in logical thinking. Our English teachers would coordinate lessons on writing cogently. 10th grade was Algebra II, 11th grade trigonometry, and 12th grade calculus. Yikes! That´s a lot of math. But I loved it. And I thank my public school teachers over and over for their outstanding commitment to teaching -- it made learning a lot more fun!

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Reply 27 - Posted by: rambo77, 1/26/2014 2:15:21 AM     (No. 9705926)

I thought all the math courses were to teach us how to think. There is a message here somewhere.

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Reply 28 - Posted by: MissMann, 1/26/2014 4:26:37 AM     (No. 9705944)

As a math teacher, I agree with almost every post, except for the part about Algebra 2 being a requirement for graduation.

Algebra and above are wonderful training for your mind and definitely useful for many fields of study, but what should a high school diploma represent? I think Algebra 1 and Geometry (or Integrated 1 &2, for Common Core) is probably enough--and quite a reach for many students.

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Reply 29 - Posted by: vrocco1, 1/26/2014 5:11:27 AM     (No. 9705950)

The most important thing that any school can teach any student is how to learn. Basically, the only skill you use later is how to find the answer to any problem your career might present. Math skills are an important part of that learning process, and yet we continue to abandon them.

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Reply 30 - Posted by: franq, 1/26/2014 6:36:46 AM     (No. 9705967)

I remember doing geometry proofs in 8th grade. What a feeling of satisfaction. It definitely helps with my present job, where most moves I make are intuitive. I had calculus in 12th grade. Couldn´t do a derivative or an integration now to save my life. But I don´t consider it a waste. The big issue is not whether Algebra II is mandatory. It is this - kids don´t generally have the faintest idea what to do with their lives. Look how many change college majors. (Colleges love that; it now takes 6 years to graduate.) Young people need to get back to the notion of a vocation, i.e. calling. The ancients believed that came from God!

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Reply 31 - Posted by: zoidberg, 1/26/2014 10:39:54 AM     (No. 9706255)

I can understand not being intellectually developed enough for algebra, but not emotionally developed enough?

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Reply 32 - Posted by: toddh, 1/26/2014 10:42:31 AM     (No. 9706257)

Texas is spending all its money on an ape trainer to make the drooling imbeciles happy. I´m sorry, but if you don´t know algebra or a similar system of abstractions you aren´t fully human. It should be a requirement for *entrance* to college, not graduation.

We´re raising generations of morons but hey we play some good ´ball.

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Reply 33 - Posted by: john56, 1/26/2014 11:02:50 AM     (No. 9706285)

With my wife teaching Math in a Texas public school, she was happy to see the Alg II requirement gone.

With the terrible state of how math is taught in public schools, the course was going to be dumbed down so much so kids could pass the End of Course test (which only required you to get about 37% right to pass anyway).

Kids don´t know how to balance a checkbook, debit card, give change. Try and give some cashier a few pennies to get a nickel or a dime back in change instead of another handful of pennies and see what happens.

When she resumed teaching several years ago, she taught 7th graders who failed their state math test. It was amazing how many kids, age 13 and 14, who couldn´t do a simple multiplication table -- even on the 10th or 12th try.

But there were kids who could do multiplication ... one kid boasting how he was gonna father 100 kids and another with a wad of bills from his side business, which is illegal in all states except Colorado and Washington, I think (that kid could give change, I believe).

And these are the folks that will be taking care of us in the old folks home. That is, unless Obama´s death panels kill us off first.

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Big Government: As students flood Twitter with images of inedible slop, it´s clear that Michelle Obama´s government school lunch revamp is a costly failure. It´s time to get the feds out of kids´ lunch boxes. The $12 billion federal student lunch program, which serves 30.7 million kids, is losing participants fast — more than a million just last year, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report. The reason: the first lady´s Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act, an act that has accomplished exactly the opposite of what it claimed it would — leaving hungry, angry, disgusted kids and dumpsters full of wasted

Sunk: Climate change threatens to
flood world´s largest Navy base
warns Gov. Terry McAuliffe

32 replie(s)
Washington Examiner, by Paul Bedard    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/11/2014 4:08:01 PM     Post Reply
Recently elected Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is warning that global warming could raise sea levels high enough to flood the Hampton Roads region, home to the world´s largest naval base, without immediate and “smart decisions.” Addressing an environmental summit this week at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., McAuliffe embraced climate change, blamed humans for causing it, and said action is needed now to protect Virginia´s coast from rising ocean levels that will result from global warming. “The first big decision of course is to accept that climate change is real,” he told the group. “I happen to believe in

The IRS Scandal Comes Into Focus
27 replie(s)
Wall Street Journal, by Kimberley A. Strassel    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 4/11/2014 6:33:53 AM     Post Reply
Nearly a year into the IRS scandal, we still don´t know exactly what happened—though we are finally getting an inkling. That´s thanks to the letter House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp sent this week to the Justice Department recommending a criminal probe of Lois Lerner. The average citizen might be dizzied by the torrent of confusing terms—BOLO lists, Tigta, 501(c)(4)—and the array of accusations that have made up this IRS investigation. Mr. Camp´s letter takes a step back to remind us why this matters, even as it provides compelling new information that goes to motive and method—and clarifies some of

Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman
26 replie(s)
Entertainment Magazine, by James Hibbard    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 4/10/2014 12:10:39 PM     Post Reply
Official: Stephen Colbert is the new host of CBS’ Late Show. Release: The CBS Television Network today announced that Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “The Colbert Report,” will succeed David Letterman as the host of THE LATE SHOW, effective when Mr. Letterman retires from the broadcast. The five-year agreement between CBS and Colbert was announced by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, and Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment. Letterman, the legendary, critically acclaimed host of the CBS late night series for 21 years, announced his retirement on his April 3 broadcast. Colbert’s

Global solar dominance in sight
as science trumps fossil fuels

26 replie(s)
Telegraph [UK], by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 4/10/2014 6:08:54 PM     Post Reply
Solar power has won the global argument. Photovoltaic energy is already so cheap that it competes with oil, diesel and liquefied natural gas in much of Asia without subsidies. Roughly 29pc of electricity capacity added in America last year came from solar, rising to 100pc even in Massachusetts and Vermont.[Snip] The technology is improving so fast--helped by the US military--that it has achieved a virtous circle. Michael Parker and Flora Chang, at Sanford Bernstein, say we entering a new order of "global energy deflation" that must ineluctably erode the viability of oil, gas and the fossil fuel nexus over time.

Jeb Bush defends ‘act of love’
26 replie(s)
Politico, by Maggie Haberman    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/11/2014 12:53:18 PM     Post Reply
STAMFORD, Conn. — Jeb Bush defended his controversial comments about immigration reform, insisting they were nothing new for him and urging “sensitivity to the immigrant experience.” At a Connecticut Republican party dinner Thursday night, the former Republican governor of Florida did not repeat his remarks from last weekend at his father’s presidential library, when he said that people who come to the United States illegally in search of a better life for their children “broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love.” This time the potential 2016 candidate put it differently. “To be young and

Pelosi: Immigration law
like internment of Japanese

24 replie(s)
Daily Caller, by Neil Munro    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/10/2014 3:42:16 PM     Post Reply
The deportation of foreigners living illegally in the United States is similar to the forced internment of ethnic-Japanese Americans in World War II, according to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “I’ll be very honest with you: Looking at the numbers at some point, in terms of how people are treated and deported and families separated and the rest, this has a scent of Japanese internment,” Pelosi told a Politico reporter. “It’s really a black mark,” said Pelosi. Roughly 110,000 ethnic-Japanese immigrants and their American children were detained during World War II after Japan’s sneak attack on Americans in Pearl Harbor. Pelosi also urged Obama

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