New math requirements add up to more work
Students in the South-Western City School District will soon need more math to graduate.
At a recent board of education meeting, Joyce Malainy, executive director of secondary education, explained that students will now need four math credits, instead of three, to be able to graduate. This change comes from part of the Ohio CORE Curriculum and will effect the graduating class of 2014.
The four math credits must include Algebra II or an equivalent class.
Currently, the district graduation requirements are broken up into two categories; college preparatory pathway and college/technical pathway. Both require the student to have a minimum of 21 credits and pass the Ohio Graduation Test. They also both have students taking three math credit courses.
For the 2014 class, the graduation requirements include four English credits, four math credits, three science credits, three credits in social studies, a half credit in physical education and health, and six credits of electives. This would be across the board.
Malainy said the new plan “gives the district greater flexibility.” She also said the district would need to stress math at the lower level to prepare for the new requirements.
“We need to ramp up math at the middle school level to get the students ready for the more accelerated math,” said Malainy.
Students in seventh and eighth grade will start to study pre-algebra.
Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise said this would prepare all students for college and would improve critical thinking skills.
Malainy explained that the change would also impact the teaching staff.
“We would have to add teachers in math,” she noted.
Board President Cathy Johnson said adding teachers is not in the budget.
“We would just take away from other areas,” said Johnson.
The district plans to discuss a clause that could allow a student to opt out of the extra math credit, but at graduation time, that student would receive a different diploma.