Community college is a waste of time and money if you are going over what you should have gotten in high school, says Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon. She says more than one-third of recent high school graduates who entered community college between 2006 and 2008 needed at least one remedial math course. She points to a Pekin-based manufacturer: “(They said) they are happy to employ high school graduates, but they have to pass a math test. They have to be functional at about the Algebra II level to be able to work on the computers that control their assembly lines.”

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Simon testified in favor of a bill, sponsored by State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign), which would draw up a way to teach state standards in math in middle school and high school. Eventually, she would like to see high school graduation requirements include four years of math, rather than the current three.

Frerichs says the four-year math requirement is not ready yet: “Rather than sitting back and accepting the status quo, which has failed a lot of our students and our community colleges, and failed a lot of the employers in Illinois, we need to push this forward, but we need more voices.”

S.B. 3244 has passed the Senate, 50-1.

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