Bill in Michigan Senate Could Change High School Math Requirements

“I think most of our kids, if you were to poll them, would say they wouldn’t take Algebra II if they didn’t have to,” said Betty Clark, a math teacher at Manton High School.

A bill in the Michigan Senate aims to make Algebra II an option for high school students, not a requirement.

The bill is sponsored by Democrat Jim Ananich.

He was previously a teacher who believes students should have some options.

Right now Michigan high school students are required to take four credits of math including Algebra II but this new bill could make that optional.

“I plan on going into a construction field and building houses and maybe even hospitals,” said Trent Grover, a senior at Manton High School.

Grover wants to take Algebra II.

“I like math in the first place and it’d help me advance my math skills and for the construction field,” said Grover.

But for others, math just isn’t their strong suit.

“Absolutely not. I can’t do math very well. Along with Geometry and stuff, I barely passed that class because I’m not good at math at all,” said Madison Cergnul, a junior at Manton High School.

This student says she’d rather take classes that apply math to everyday life.

“It helps you budget for college. It helps you save up money for a house or something if you don’t plan on going to college. It gives you those alternate options,” said Cergnul.

Betty Clark teaches Algebra II at Manton High School and she’d welcome this bill

“I have not used algebra two except to teach it,” said Clark. “I would welcome a chance to teach them financial literacy or statistics or something else that we can show them more applicable use in real life.”

But that doesn’t mean she wants the class completely gone.

“I’d like to have kids having a choice because you know if you’re going into a trade that would require higher math skills, I want them to be able to take the Algebra II,” said Clark.

In addition to this senate bill, the Michigan House of Representatives has a similar bill as well right now.