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Education Board Approves New Math Requirement For Students

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FITCHBURG, Mass. (AP) — The state Board of Higher Education has approved a new four-year mathematics requirement for all students seeking admission to state colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

The board approved the new requirement during a meeting in Fitchburg on Tuesday.

The current requirement for admission to four-year public colleges and the University of Massachusetts is three years.

The admission requirement will go into effect in 2016 for students entering four-year state colleges and the University of Massachusetts. That means it will begin to impact high school students next year.

The board’s chairman, Charles Desmond, said students entering the state’s colleges and universities “need to be prepared for a rigorous academic experience.”

“This vote puts Massachusetts in the vanguard of states that are increasing expectations for students from preschool to graduate school,” he said. “Strong mathematics ability is no longer an option. It is essential knowledge for every student given the demands of our 21st century economy.”

High school students must take Algebra I and II and geometry or trigonometry, or comparable coursework. They also must take math in their senior year.

Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville said the higher mathematics bar will help prepare students for success in college and in an increasingly global workplace.

“Students must develop advanced skills in math in order to persist in higher education and compete for the jobs of the future,” Reville said.

Officials said that although each college can set its own admission standards, those standards must be approved by the board.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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