Give High School Students More Options for Math

Bill would allow statistics, finance classes to fulfill Algebra II graduation requirement

LANSING, Mich. —Today, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) announced legislation to broaden the range of math classes that can count towards students’ graduation requirements. 
Currently, Michigan students must complete Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and a math elective in their senior year in order to graduate. These math requirements are often excessive and onerous for students who do not intend to use advanced math in their careers but would benefit from other math opportunities. The bill would allow for a personal finance class, statistics or a similar math elective to serve as a substitute for the Algebra II requirement.

“Every teacher has a student in their classroom who is always asking ‘when will I use this in real life?’” said Sen. Ananich, a former high school teacher. “That student has a point. Math literacy matters, and we need to be setting young people up with math skills that align with their professional goals. Students are being charged with learning polynomials, logarithms and the quadratic equation, but are leaving high school without a solid understanding of how to balance a checkbook, make investments or calculate basic statistics.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 496, has been introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Education and Career Readiness.

“If you want to be an architect or an engineer or an astronaut, we want to set you up for success,” Sen. Ananich said. “And if you want be a restaurant owner, factory line worker or the next state senator, we want to set you up for success there, too. We can, and should, update graduation requirements to better serve our students and their professional futures.”

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