Jay Mathews of the Washington Post has written what has become the emblematic anthem against algebra II in high school in a recent column.

I can understand the argument against requiring algebra II for graduation, since at one time that was the case. Students only needed two years of math, and that usually consisted of algebra I and geometry. But his argument seems to be to get rid of it altogether and in its place have courses that are more relevant like statistics.

He ignores the fact that if you really want to pursue statistics, you will have to have some facility in the topics taught in algebra 2. So what is he suggesting? Students should take that in college?

But there are ways to ease algebra II out of high schools. Gregg Robertson, longtime principal of Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, Va., noted that his math department has courses in probability…

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