Math professor concerned about less high school math

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POSTED: Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 10:50am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 11:01am

Math professors at UTB are concerned about the Texas Board of Education's decision to remove algebra II as a high school graduation requirement, Na'Tassia Finley tells us they're worried about the potential set back for incoming freshmen.

Letters standing for numbers, solving these types of mathematics equations is not so easy for some students, with the recent removal of algebra II as a mandatory course for high school graduation here in Texas.

Students who struggle with this branch of mathematics can now breathe a sigh of relief, but will it catch up to them later?

Shaghayegh Setayesh, UTB Mathematics Professor, "It's a foundation, why are we taking that away from students?"

The vast majority of four year degrees require college algebra, Shaghayegh Setayesh, "We are just making a huge gap between the time they take algebra I and then they become freshmen in college and forget everything."

Professor Setayesh worries that there will  be an increase in incoming college students having to take remedial or developmental algebra which will only cost them time and money. In a time when Texas is concentrating on college readiness, Professor Setayesh sees it as a huge step back, "One of my friends, who is an algebra teacher at BISD, said to me, "Now students in algebra I aren't going to pay attention because they know they are done, they don't need algebra anymore."

Allegra II will still be offered as an elective, but how many students will voluntarily take on the rigorous course? Professor Setayesh says those who know without a doubt they'll be attending a four year college probably will, but what about the undecided?

Professor Setayesh, "The students that think I'm going to join the workforce, I'm going to a two year college, maybe they change their mind, this is too much to ask a 15 or 16 year-old to know their plans."

Meanwhile, there has been talk of offering courses like algebraic reasoning and statistics, but Professor Setayesh says these course are not on the same level as an actual algebra II course.

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