Arizona Schools Struggle with Math Demands

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Math has gotten harder in Arizona high schools -- not only for students, but for teachers who now need to make sure students pass four years of classes like algebra, geometry, trigonometry and statistics.

"You can just see the stress," said DallasPeebles, chairman of the Red Mountain High School math department. "Kids are being asked to do more than they have ever had to do."

Under a plan approved by the Arizona State Board of Education, this year's graduating class needs four years of math to graduate instead of three. In general, that means that all students must pass algebra I, geometry, algebra II and a fourth class, such as calculus, pre-calculus, or business math and statistics.

Starting in the 2014-15 school year, Arizona's statewide math assessment will become more difficult. In some sections of the test, students will be asked to explain answers to math questions essay-style.

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