After a debate which turned into a discussion on the future of modern education, the State Board of Education today voted 14-1 to drop Algebra II as a graduation requirement for most high school students, 1200 WOAI news reports.


That doesn't mean Algebra II is going away. The courses will still be taught, and it will continue to be a requirement for any student who wants to graduate with a 'STEM endorsement,' which is a requirement for most top college engineering programs.


Several business groups opposed the move, saying it amounted to 'dumbing down' high school curriculum, but supporters say it is needed to open the door to offering more vocational and career oriented programs.


Some opponents also said it forces students to make career choices in the ninth grade, when they are far too immature to make that decision. They say high school be a general training ground that teaches a young person what he or she needs to know for life, not a vocational school.


The board also voted to rubber stamp a measure passed by the Legislature last year to cut the number of standardized tests required to graduate from 15 down to 5.


The new rules will take effect when school starts in August.