Algebra II may be dropped from Texas high school graduation requirements

The Texas Board of Education, last Thursday, voted in favor of dropping the algebra II requirement for high school graduation. This was the first of four votes.

Less than 25 percent of high school students are interested in STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, fields, according to STEMconnector.

The current standard allows students on a minimum academic plan to graduate without taking algebra II.

Should this vote pass, students who want distinguished degrees or STEM focused diplomas will be the only ones that need to take it.

The importance of math is undisputed among educators and people in science and math fields.

However, those in the technical field say the current requirement may not be suitable for everyone.

"If they're not going to typically go for what's called the four year education, algebra II may not be appropriate. If they are interested in getting a high quality two year technical education, then something like a technical math class may better well prepare them than the traditional higher end math," said Delane McUne with Amarillo College technical education.

Stephanie Steelman, a scientist at Pantex said there is no excuse for taking away the requirement.

"Instead of taking it out of high school, why don't we start algebra at 6th and 7th grade and have algebra II for 8th and 9th graders? That would be where we should go. And if the kids don't likeâ?¦algebra II, fine, then put them on a course where they find something they're interested in," Steelman said.

She said getting rid of algebra II will cause problems when the students start college.

"If we stop with this generation of students, how are they going to help their kids and how are they going to push their kids to go on with the science and the math in upper levels in high school," Steelman said.