Summary : "Is Algebra Necessary?"

Topics: College, High school, University Pages: 2 (448 words) Published: December 2, 2012
The Difficulties Math Places on Students: A Summary of “Is Algebra Necessary?” In “Is Algebra Necessary?” by Andrew Hacker, an emeritus professor of political science at Queens College, City University of New York , Hacker critiques algebra, claiming that students are not passing, and that this is limiting the level of education available to them . Hacker suggests that if we make math more practical, by adding things such as “citizen statistics,” more students will succeed. In the beginning of his essay Hacker provides evidence many American students, from high school to college, are expected to fail their algebra classes. The author then makes the point that pressing students to take, and pass, math courses prevents some from discovering their own talents. Hacker suggests that algebra can cause students of all backgrounds to struggle, even when talented in other areas of academics. Hacker clarifies that the negative effects of math requirements occur in both high school and college level students, he makes this point by claiming that many universities expect a certain number of high school math courses for entrance, and require students to take math once in attendance. Hacker then argues that passing math alone is not good enough, claiming that many colleges look for high math SAT scores that are only achieved by a very small percentage of the population, making it difficult to be accepted into colleges. He then mentions that math in the classroom does not always apply to real world jobs, where much training is done specifically for the job after hiring. He then admits that people need basic math skills, but most workers will not need algebra or above. He further asserts that without math, the world as we know it would not exist, and that math is needed in this “statistical age.” Next Hacker clarifies that even when math is not related to a person’s field of study, it is sometimes still required to make a schools curriculum look impressive. Finally he...
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