Is algebra an unnecessary stumbling block in US schools?

Posted at 3:39 PM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 07:35:26-04

NEW YORK (AP) — Who needs algebra? Most U.S. educators would say everyone does.

But political scientist Andrew Hacker offers an opposing view in a provocative new book, arguing algebra has become an unnecessary roadblock that forces millions of students to drop out of high school or college.

Opponents say math just needs to be taught better, though some support changes to the curriculum, especially at the community college level, where as many as 80 percent of students test into remedial math and most don't pass it.

Faced with low passing rates in remedial algebra, some community colleges are offering alternative math tracks that focus on statistics or basic quantitative skills.