Sunday, July 23, 2017

Should Community Colleges Abolish Algebra Requirements?

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I'm not going dignify that question with a response.

7 Comments:

Blogger Aa said...

A former university president where I work once said "I learned more from playing football than I ever did in Algebra". Very few of us dignified that with a response either.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Translation: I failed algebra

8:27 AM  
Blogger Aa said...

Yep.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Critical Spirits said...

I think this plays on something we've talked about before, namely that the University had to meet the hoi polloi in the middle when the public took an increased interest in higher education.

You've got these kids who aren't academically gifted for some reason or another, but who could desperately use the qualifications to improve their lots in life. Thus, someone thinks "what is the greatest impediment to the job education needs to do in order to prepare weaker students for the workforce? Algebra. Get rid of Algebra." Or something like that.

However, I don't think I sympathize with this sentiment. There are many fields that can't withstand a dilution of talent, so it'd be dangerous to remove the Algebra requirement in that respect. Furthermore, its arguable that the purpose of the university, independent of its social or economic utility, is to make people better reasoners, and given that mathematical reasoning is remarkably potent in this respect, I think it'd be regrettable if community colleges remove the requirements.

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Subsidize trade schools when?

4:33 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Shouldn't you be reading philosophy?

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Critical Spirits said...

I should be. I just thought I'd stop by and dignify this with a response before I get back to the chronicles of Otto Neurath and the philosophical bleeding-hearts.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Good man.
Nose to the grindstone and all that.
If you're not sick of reading philosophy, you're not doing it right.

(ees joke. Ees foony.)

5:53 PM  

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