State Revokes Algebra II Graduation Requirement


Sami Brown Photo

Eileen Castrellon, 12, studies math on a whiteboard in AVID.

In 2014, the state of Texas removed Algebra 2 from its required credits to graduate from high school. A late reaction to this change swept through Legacy the week of Sept. 9, despite its lack of impact on students. The majority of 4-year universities in Texas still require Algebra 2 to attend their college. Texas Senate Bill 232 states school districts must send information to students and parents in regard to these changes. James Epperson, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington’s Department of Mathematics believes that opting out of Algebra 2 could be detrimental to a student’s progress in college, and will shut a student out of a college degree in business. 

Students in the top 10% who do not take Algebra 2 will be denied automatic admission to all public state schools. Math teacher Mrs. Julie Gross believes the state made this change to help students who struggle with math, not to give students an out.

“There are some students who are just not math-minded,” Gross said, “Texas [changed its requirements] because we were having students who could not graduate.” 

If students failed Algebra 2 in high school, they could not move on to pursue an education or career outside of STEM. Gross sympathizes with aspiring trade school students and artists. However, she believes that students should only opt out of Algebra 2 if they do not wish to attend a 4-year university.  

“We understand. We want you to graduate,” Gross said. “We do not want Algebra II to hold you back.”