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1.30.2006

More news from the math wars 

Apparently the LAUSD's recent requirement that high school graduates complete a year of algebra is causing some problems.

I have no problems with the school district requiring that its students master a piece of 1000-year-old mathematical technology in order to graduate. But if 44% of the frosh fail algebra, they should probably hold off on some of them. Stick them into basic (remedial) arithmetic classes and avoid having them fail the same class multiple times because they're unprepared/undisciplined/their minds aren't yet sharp enough/whatever. Maybe by the time they're seniors they'll be able to grasp the (mildly) abstract concept of a variable and have improved their reading comprehension skills enough to be able to solve word problems.

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