Recent state laws have increased graduation requirements for math and science classes in schools across the country. The idea behind this is to adequately prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
With technology progressing at a rapid pace, STEM careers are becoming more in-demand and desirable and will only be increasing for the foreseeable future. This definitely explains the rationale for ensuring that our students are competently prepared for this modern workforce environment.
Is your student ready for this influx in math and science? Does your student struggle or excel in these classes? Educators and legislators must use discernment in considering all students when increasing the demands of STEM-related course requirements.
Students Who Will Do Well:
For those students who will definitely be pursuing further education and a career in these technical subject matters, the increase in math and science requirements will serve them well. Students who pursue advanced studies will be prepared for even greater in-depth college class opportunities and on-the-job training.
A study conducted in 2013 stated that only 44 percent of U.S. high school graduates were ready for college-level math classes, and only 36 percent were ready for science in college. This means those graduates looking to continue their STEM education in college were likely un-prepared for what was ahead of them. The hope is that these more rigorous math and science requirements will help increase those percentages and better equip those students seeking STEM majors in college.
Students Who May Struggle:
Not all students are cut out for futures centered around math and science. Some students are artists, tradesmen, writers, musicians, or athletes. Schools must not be negligent in preparing them for their continued education and careers, as well. Those with talents and a passion for less-technical fields of study are just as important to a functioning society. We cannot forget about these students in the midst of our modern, developing world.
Oftentimes, math and science are some of the more difficult subjects to pass in high school. In fact, three out of four high school students failed Algebra 1 last year in a Maryland school district. That being the case, increasing the math and science requirements may mean a significant decrease in students’ GPAs, ultimately resulting in lower acceptance rates into colleges after graduation.
With the growing trend of STEM education, fortunately there are learning systems, such as LearnBop, that help students identify their weaknesses, practice these skills, and improve their knowledge and testing in those areas.
What are your thoughts? Is your student benefiting from these increased math and science requirements, or are they finding it to be more difficult?