Indiana school officials change math requirement for Core 40 Diploma

Middle school students getting ready for high school should also be getting ready for some high level math.

That's because starting next school year incoming freshman will be facing stricter math requirements to graduate.

Aubrey Houser, taking high school math in middle school, describes where they are in math now, “Right now we're on chapter ten and on lesson six, which is trigonemic ratios.”

She's only in 7th grade, but already taking high school math classes.

Houser explains why she is taking a higher level math, “So I could have an extra head start on college and high school.”

Aubrey Houser is taking algebra, and will be in geometry next year.

Houser describes her future plans for college, “I think I want to be a chemist or something to do with math.”

In the past middle school math credits could count in high school. Starting next school year, incoming freshman will be taking four years of math. No matter what credits they may carry.

Mark Maudlin, Urey Middle School, Principal, explains the new requirements, “Now you have to take a math class every year in high school or a quantitative reasoning course your senior, or a math course your first three years of high school.”

The State School Board passed new core 40 diploma requirements, hoping to increase the number of math classes students take.

Dr. Tony Bennett, State School Superintendent, describes the reasoning behind the changes, ”We should be pushing kids to attain to their highest level regardless of where they start.”

For example at John Glenn High School for the past three years, only 51 percent of students took all 4 years of math.

Dr. Bennett explains how it helps students in the future, “Students who do not take that fourth year of math, is really an excellent indicator of how well students perform in college.”

Principals fear the plan might backfire. With students fearful, they can't handle a total of six years of high level math.

Maudlin explains his fears that the kids might have with the math classes, “Kids are going to shy away I feel from those advanced classes knowing they are going to be locked into four years of math or that last year take a quantitative reasoning class in high school.”

Some students could end up taking AP calculus, discrete math, or quantitative reasoning, their senior year.

It becomes a challenging course, but good preparation for college.

Dr. Bennett describes the reason for making the change, “We know that for students to be successful in college, what we need is students taking four years of math.”

Something Aubrey's parents already decided.

Houser explains how the change does not really change her plans, “I would have to take it anyways because my mom wants me to have an extra head start so it would just be the same, I think it's kind of exciting.”

The new requirements go into effect with next year's freshman class. In the past only three years of math was required to graduate with a Core 40 Diploma.


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