AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Board of Education gave preliminary approval to dropping algebra II as a requirement for high school graduation, over the objections of critics who say the state is watering down its academic standards.
Eliminating the algebra II mandate for most students was part of a major overhaul of graduation, standardized testing and curriculum requirements unanimously approved by the Texas Legislature in May. The shake-up was meant to give students the flexibility to focus on career and vocational training — not just college prep courses.
Much of the debate over the changes has focused on the algebra II requirement. Many academic experts and school administrators said it's a key prerequisite for success both in college and beyond. But some trade groups argued that plenty of high-paying jobs are available without a college degree or high-level math.