AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Although Texas no longer demands high school students take Algebra 2, educators warn it may be difficult to enter college without it.
The state's new Foundation High School Program includes a path to graduation that does not include higher-level math, and instead offers alternatives including Algebraic Reasoning or Statistics as replacement courses.
Students who do not take Algebra 2, the advanced form of elementary algebra, will not be eligible for automatic "Top 10 percent" admission to Texas" four-year public colleges.
"If you don't take Algebra 2, you will be shut out of a college degree in business. You won't ever be a scientist or engineer," said James Epperson, University of Texas at Arlington mathematics professor.
"Not taking Algebra 2 (in high school) probably means the student is heading toward having to take developmental math classes in college," said Tommy Awtry, dean of math and science at Tarrant County College.
The high school class of 2018 will be the first to graduate under the new state rules, and school districts are working to build the rules into current programs, the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram reported Tuesday.
"We're still trying to process the information coming out of Austin," said Mark Thomas, spokesman for the Birdville Independent School District in Haltom City.