Failing grades in California

July 24, 2017 |

In California, nearly 50% of community college students fail to complete the math requirement of passing an algebra class, and some argue that this is a human rights issue since it particularly affects the poor and minorities who make up a large number of community college enrollees. So the chancellor of the California community college system has a suggestion. Better math instruction? Surely, you jest! No, just do away with the algebra requirement. She claims this wouldn’t be lowering standards because students could take an easier class in something they’d be more likely to use, such as statistics. Obviously, they wouldn’t be required to take Logic or else they might ask how you could replace a harder class with an easier class and not lower standards. I assume the history class also doesn’t include the Bush years, to keep the students from learning the concept of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

One interesting aspect of this story is that after seven years of the Common Core curriculum that was supposed to improve math teaching, math scores actually declined. You don’t have to be Einstein, or even know algebra, to figure that out. Frankly, considering the state’s budget and spending, I don’t think it’s wise to stop teaching young California voters about math.

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  • Mary Euler

    07/24/2017 07:38 PM

    Wait a minute! I came from and returned to the midwest years ago from California and went to 2 junior colleges there before completing my college degree and it was a requirement at the time to have taken algebra in HIGH SCHOOL!!! You couldn't get into any college including a Junior College without having completed algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra in HIGH SCHOOL!! How are these California students graduating from high school? I didn't have money to go to college then as I was raising 3 little children under 6 years old but I worked 2 jobs and managed it - so I was a poverty/poor and female minority person.