Tri States Public Radio
April 25, 2012
By Rich Egger
An Illinois House education panel okayed a plan that would change math standards for middle and high school students.
The measure was developed by Democratic Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon. It would require the State Board of Education to develop a curriculum that includes an extra year of math in high schools. Currently only three years are required by the state, though many schools already require four years.
Simon has visited each of the state's 48 community colleges and said she repeatedly heard students lacked math skills.
"Students are arriving at community colleges not ready to do college level math. Consistent with that, employers, and manufacturing employers in particular, are saying that graduates of high schools are not ready for career-level math," she said.
Simon said it's important for school districts to maintain local control so the new math standards would be an option rather than a mandate.
The measure now goes to the full House. It's already been approved by the Senate.