Purdy Schools mull more math requirements

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Colleges, ACT exam demanding more math knowledge

To meet higher college expectations, the Purdy Board of Education is considering increasing the math requirement for graduation.

High school principal Bob Vice recommended increasing the graduation requirement from three math credits to four.

Vice said Purdy has offered algebra 1 as an eighth grade class. When followed by algebra 2 and geometry, students have a year in high school with no math requirement. Superintendent Steven Chancellor noted that with the state requiring all students to take the ACT college entrance exam, Purdy students are likely to run into math questions beyond their range of studies.

In addition, Instruction coach Mindi Gates said colleges do not want students skipping math studies in the junior or senior years, according to Chancellor, universities ultimately want to see students exposed to more math classes. He expects a push for more science classes is also not far away.

Board members acknowledged the inevitability of the change with reservations.

"Kids who struggle in math are probably the most frustrated kids," said board member Ed Mareth.

He suggested requiring students to take a math class their senior years. Board chairman Randy Henderson wondered about students not bound for college. He asked to see courses shaped around a career path of going to college or not.

Vice said other math classes may be offered, such as business math, agriculture and consumer math. Some courses are available through Edgenuity, offered at the Scott Regional Technology Center in Monett.

Chancellor did not anticipate needing more teachers to offer additional math classes, but felt sequencing would be more crucial. The school counselor had begun talking to students about developing a four-year plan for the studies. Vice felt that scheduling classes for upper level seniors going to Scott Tech would require having some classes available in the afternoons.

"We're really going to have to do it," Chancellor said. "Our choice is in our offerings."

Any change would go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year. Vice will present a more detailed proposal outlining additional math offerings at the board's Feb. 16 meeting.

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