Last week, we praised algebra, logic and Latin as basic learning skills.

Yesterday, we reported that U.S. high schoolers math scores are continuing to drop … and that the U.S. now ranks #40 among developed countries.

Now there’s discouraging news out of California: Algebra is under siege.

In 2009, the California Community Colleges system began requiring demonstrated math competency at the level “typically known as Intermediate Algebra … or another mathematics course at the same level, with the same rigor.”

**What was the result, and what do educators plan to do about it?**

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The LA Times reports that:

More than 3 out of 4 community college students in California cannot pass the state’s math proficiency exam.

Numerous attempts across the state to provide more remedial help or additional tutoring have largely failed.

Discouraged or frustrated, most drop out before ever earning a degree.

So, what’s the answer?

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You guessed it:

“A growing number of educators have challenged this long-held gold standard of math in California, particularly at a time when two-year colleges are under increasing pressure to improve completion rates.”

English translation: **Ditch the algebra requirement or, at a minimum, water it … so that more students get degrees.**

Really?

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I share the view that:

**“Learning algebra helps to develop your critical thinking skills, including problem solving, logic, patterns, and deductive and inductive reasoning.”**

Period.

Students need more math … more algebra ,,, not less.

Do you think that educators in China are having this debate?

I seriously doubt it!

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P.S. Jake is 24; Jan is 48.

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