Drop Algebra Graduation Requirement, it’s ‘Civil Rights Issue’

Jul 21, 2017 by

The chancellor of California’s community college system has raised eyebrows after suggesting colleges should drop the algebra requirement, claiming it’s a “civil rights issue”.

Eloy Oritz Oakley, the boss of 113 community colleges in California, made his suggestion during an interview with NPR. He said the algebra requirement is particularly troublesome because it prevents a number of students from graduating from community colleges, adding that almost 50 percent of students don’t meet the standard.

“This is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans,” he said.

“If you think about all the underemployed or unemployed Americans in this country who cannot connect to a job in this economy — which is unforgiving of those students who don’t have a credential — the biggest barrier for them is this algebra requirement. It’s what has kept them from achieving a credential.”

The chancellor’s proposal was challenged by a radio presenter who suggested that improving the graduation rates of community college students just by dropping the algebra requirement is an “easy way out” instead of improving the teaching quality.

Oakley denied the accusation, saying “Since the 1950s, we decided that the only measure of a student’s ability to reason or to do some sort of quantitative measure is algebra.”

“What we’re saying is we want as rigorous a course as possible to determine a student’s ability to succeed, but it should be relevant to their course of study.”

He went to point out to universities like the Carnegie Foundation and the University of Texas, which are also considering dropping the requirements for algebra, and suggested the statistics could substitute algebra as a new requirement.

“[Statistics] is a skill that we should have all of our students have with them because this affects them in their daily life.”

Source: California College Boss Wants Algebra Graduation Requirement Gone, Says it’s ‘Civil Rights Issue’ | Heat Street

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.