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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Algebra... the Discussion Continues

If you missed it today, the Diane Rehm Show (NPR) did an hour with Andrew Hacker and other guests on the issue of "Is Algebra Necessary" which Hacker raised to the forefront in a recent NY Times op-ed. The podcast is available here:

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-08-29/algebra-necessary

You can hear the frustration/aggravation in Dr. Hacker's voice as he defends his position against the backlash he created. If anything, he may be stating his case more staunchly now than in the original article. Clearly the arguments can go back-and-forth for a long time; several of the listeners' call-in comments/experiences are interesting as well. I still find fault with Hacker's overall take, but I respect his ability to stand his ground.

In the end, he says he is simply asking that we "re-think" our insistence on algebra as a "requirement" for all high school graduates. I wouldn't completely oppose that... so long as we also "re-think" the insistence on various English, literature, history, art and music requirements as well.

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