Under the Dome

NC Senate approves math changes

Students Kopal Gupta, left, Laurel Thomas, left center, and Karlyn Voltz, right, work on a problem with teacher Scott Maxwell, right center, in his Math III Honors STEM class at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh.
Students Kopal Gupta, left, Laurel Thomas, left center, and Karlyn Voltz, right, work on a problem with teacher Scott Maxwell, right center, in his Math III Honors STEM class at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh. cseward@newsobserver.com

The Senate gave final approval Thursday to a bill requiring schools offer two tracks of high school math, one that integrates topics and another that separates algebra and geometry into different courses.

The bill responds to complaints about integrated math that the state started to use several years ago. In a few years, districts will have to offer students the option of taking integrated math or the traditional math sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.

The Senate approved an amendment Thursday requiring a study of and recommendations to local boards of education on implementing two math tracks. Senators observed during their debate this week that it would be difficult for small schools with only one math teacher to meet the bill’s requirements.

The Senate approved the bill 33-13. It now goes to the House.

Many middle schools offer the first integrated high school math course. Sen. Jerry Tillman, an Archdale Republican who took the lead on the bill, said those middle schools would also have to offer Algebra I.

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