California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley wants to abolish the college algebra requirement, calling it a “civil rights issue.”
Oakley told NPR that algebra is too burdensome and disproportionately prevents students from graduating.
“This is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans,” Oakley told NPR. “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.”
“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,” said Oakley. “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.”
More, via Daily Caller;
The chancellor said that other higher education institutions, such as the Carnegie Foundation and the University of Texas, were pondering the change. He suggested that statistics could replace 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.”