Monday, May 24, 2004

Not adding up

I agree that disregarding the state law requiring completion of Algebra I for seniors is a bad idea.

But the extent to which I get riled over this depends if the 5% of seniors lacking the class is a significant population. That might require math past Alegbra I, however.

Frankly, I can't believe kids get all the way to the 12th grade without having completed Alegbra O-N-E. Full disclosure: I am a math nerd. Former math nerd maybe. But my inner nerd thrives even today, after four years of mathless college and two years of mathless (mathphobic) law school.

Just how nerdy am I. About this nerdy. But I digress.

The article captures the frustration over our lowered expectations:

Let me understand: Kids who don't like school and aren't particularly good students may feel pressure to learn, so we should just not ask them to meet any higher standards?

Well, when you put it that way . . . .

I can appreciate the difficulties schools face. Our kids are overachieving at underperforming. But let's not contiue to slash expectations and excuse effort. The article also cites the complaint that the requirement is particularly hard for non-English speaking students.

Okay - there may be a shortage of bilingual teachers - but math itself, get this, has no language. It's the one thing that should be easier to get through, than say, the Lord of the Flies.

I think if kids were pushed from elementary school on, they'd be taking Calculus by graduation. And it's useful. And stop letting girls whine "it's harrrrrd." And stop letting them all whine "i won't usssssee it."

It's not. You will. Step up a little, everyone.

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