Math education is critical to our future

Read the whole thread. There are school districts that are proposing to remove advanced math courses because students who take them benefit and students who do not take them, do not. Logical? Not really.

A decade ago, our then local school district proposed eliminating half of the AP courses in the school. The real reason turned out to be the teacher’s union. Some of the AP courses had just15 or so students per class, and not the minimum of 24 students that union rules called for among all classes. The union complained that teachers with only 15 students were getting easy work loads, therefore, these courses should be canceled.

I organized parents to argue the solution was to get more students to enroll in the courses. This could be done by marketing the value of the courses (such as earning college placement credit, thereby reducing future college costs, and training students in the class skills required to take college level classes). This was the solution, not cutting the courses from the curriculum.

Having made my career in computer and software engineering I see a distinct need for high performance math skills among students. The U.S. does not achieve its future goals with a student body denied access to math education. As the Twitter thread above notes, reducing advanced math classes does not improve the skills of students not taking advanced courses, either. Instead, reducing math options is a lose-lose proposition.

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