Good, eighth graders should be expected to learn algebra. High school seniors should be expected to learn calculus for that matter.
And draft a basic business letter using correct grammar.
That would be awesome, no?
According to the article, many are "outraged" at this new expectation. It's unfair to expect youngsters to learn the "notoriously difficult subject without a massive infusion of cash to pay for books, computer programs, and more class time and more qualified teachers."
If there were EVER a subject that required no materials, it's math. A pen and an overhead projector or a chalkboard and some chalk are pretty much all you need. If the math teachers we have now can't teach algebra, then fire them.
Full disclosure: I SUCKED at algebra. I probably still do. But I was still done with calculus before I reached the end of high school. But it wasn't brain surgery. A little heightened expectations might be good for our kids.
Math is critical. And kids, you WILL use algebra in your daily life. You, reader, do already.
I hate when people whine about math being haaaard. It's not. We're just lazy.
This mandate will probably never take hold or never be enforced in a way that gives us a generation of leading Californian mathematicians and scientists, but wouldn't that be great?