Bioscience

Make sure it all adds up (Arizona Republic editorial)

December 26, 2006

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Richard deUriarte, Arizona Republic] — High school mathematics in Arizona isn’t exactly rocket science. But would it be more valuable if it were? Or, at least, a bit more like rocket science? A little tougher? A wee bit more demanding?

A panel of educators and business leaders recently reported to Gov. Janet Napolitano that, yes, Arizona high school students need more math. A group known as the P-20 Council recommended to the governor that students should pass three years of math, rather than the current minimum of two years, in order to graduate. And by 2012, they should be required to take math all four years.

In addition, the P-20 Council urged that Arizona stem its 30 percent dropout rate by requiring students to remain in school until they are 18 years old. Currently, 16-year-olds can abandon their studies if they wish. Those are strong recommendations. Napolitano, who sees rising math requirements in other states as a sign Arizona students may drift far behind the pack, said she would like to see the majority of the council’s recommendations enacted. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]