~Requiring Algebra II suggest the high school curriculum is beginning to adapt to new demands in the economy~

Tampa, FL – Florida’s students will soon be required to pass Algebra II in order to graduate from high school as part of new high school reform legislation recently signed into law by Governor Charlie Crist. The question parents are asking now is “Why Algebra II?” Well a new report released this morning by ENLACE Florida helps provide insight into what makes Algebra II so special. According to the report, the answer is directly related to skills becoming increasingly required by employers, colleges, and universities. “Simply put, the value in Algebra courses isn’t based on the formulas and calculations that students learn, but the development of analytical skills and abstract reasoning that it fosters,” said Paul Dosal, Executive Director for ENLACE Florida. These skills are a part of what was once considered the “college preparation” level, and is now the standard that all students need to meet to be successful after high school. According to the report, Algebra I provides students with a rudimentary introduction to high school mathematics while Algebra II allows students to explore, in depth, a diversity of engaging topics that have many real-world applications. Here’s a list of the skills students passing Algebra II would be equipped with:

  • Critical thinking skills that enhance further study. In addition, this gives the student the confidence needed to engage in a challenging career that requires some level of clear thinking and methodical problem-solving;
  • Ability to analyze and weigh situations in order to make better decisions based on the analysis;
  • Symbolic manipulation skills necessary for considering further exploration that could lead to careers in science/technology, business, social sciences and education. In particular, students who complete Algebra II are more likely to take other courses in science to include physics, chemistry (as opposed to a general science course).
  • General intellectual maturity that enhances students’ readiness for college-level study without remediation. Such students are more likely to score well on standardized tests because students who score well on the math portion of these tests do score well overall.”

To view the report, click here

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