Education, Michigan Republicans — May 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Michigan Republican legislation aims to make high school diplomas worth even less


No need to know math if you’re working at Walmart, I guess…

Republican legislation was passed out of the House Education Committee yesterday that reduced graduation requirements by allowing students to graduate without learning a foreign language or taking mathematics through Algebra 2.

House Bill 4465 would allow students to replace the Algebra 2 requirement with completion of a “formal career and technical education program or curriculum” and eliminates the 2-credit foreign language requirement for some students. House Bill 4466 reduces the requirements for mathematics from 3½ credits to 3.

The bills will now head to the full House. All Republicans on the Education Committee voted for the two bills along with Democrat Theresa Abed voting with the Republicans on both.

Given the drive by Republicans to dismantle public education in this state with a move toward privatizing education to for-profit charter schools, all of this looks to me like a “dumbing down” of the high school education. While I understand that not every high school graduate will end up in college and many will end up in a trade of some sort or another, I feel very strongly that we should be educating our kids to a higher standard than these pieces of legislation set out. It smacks of creating an under-educated class of students who can fill unskilled service positions in society rather than making sure they are prepared for any eventuality. It’s a move in completely the wrong direction and is just one more piece of evidence that Republicans hold public education in disdain. We need MORE educated kids to compete in the world economy, not fewer.