In addition to improved performance recently on the grid iron and their ever presence on the hardwood, the folks at MSU have now made an improvement in the classroom. MSU has removed the college algebra requirement for the math/quantitative reasoning general education component of a degree.
The American Mathematical Society agrees with the folks from East Lansing. According to Thomas Barr, special projects officer for the AMS, “In this day and time, it’s appropriate to look at alternatives to the notion of the one-size-fits-all college algebra. All too often, mathematics may be taught in a context-less way.”
Community college students can complete a math “credit” in Michigan in one of three pathways: algebra, statistics, or quantitative reasoning. I have attached the Michigan Transfer Agreement to the post as well is the Inside Higher Education piece.
The algebra requirement (for nonscience majors) always seemed a vestige of the aristocratic British prep school curriculum, which migrated to New England (and landed at my college prep school in Rhode Island). You must know your Euclid and Diophantus on the playing fields of Eton (apologies to al-Khwarizmi).
Next thing you know, the Spartans will be giving the Trojans their money’s worth in the Rose Bowl.