Illinois schools need to adapt for the future by requiring more math classes says the State Board of Education chairman. A proposal awaiting the governor’s action would require high school students to take 4 years of math. That’s up from the current 3 years. Board chairman Gery Chico says more jobs are demanding technical skills, even if they don’t require a college diploma.
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“That doesn’t mean everyone has to take calculus in the fourth year. You can take different kinds of mathematics. Finance. Things of that sort.” Critics say it may push students who are on the edge of dropping out over that edge but Chico says that’s no excuse. “If you drop out and are not competent in mathematics I worry about you. I worry about you getting taken advantage of on everything. As simple as what’s the discount on a pair of pants when you’re buying it in a store to what’s the mortgage going to be on my house?” However, he says schools shouldn’t forget about the less technical subjects, such as the arts and humanities.