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Should all students be proficient in algebra to graduate?

from The Washington Post

More than 60 percent of students entering CUNY community colleges place into a remedial mathematics course. For the vast majority, that means they must pass an elementary algebra course and the CUNY Elementary Algebra Final Exam to exit remediation and to have any chance of every obtaining a degree. Each semester, more than 50 percent of students in elementary algebra do not pass the course. But why is algebra so important that we decree every college student must demonstrate current proficiency in a fairly rigid list of topics and skills before being able to graduate regardless of major? One very common answer is the tautology "because algebra is part of a well-rounded education." more

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