FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska public school students could have a new math requirement for obtaining a high school diploma under a proposed state regulation.
The Alaska State Board of Education is considering a measure that would require students to earn three credits of math. The current requirement is two credits.
More than four out of five Alaska school districts already require three years of math.
Susan McCauley of the Department of Education said the board last spring asked how Alaska graduation requirements compare to other states. Forty-two states require more math than Alaska, she said, and the board asked for a proposal to make Alaska comparable.
Alaska students currently need 21 credits to graduate. Students generally earn a half credit per semester in a class.
Under the proposed regulation, sent out Monday for public comment, students would need three credits of math — equal to three yearlong classes — to graduate.
Forty-five of Alaska’s 54 districts already required three credits of math. Denali Borough schools require four credits.
Yukon Flats, Sitka, Valdez, Lower Yukon, Hoonah and Bering Strait school districts require two math credits for graduation. A few others require 2.5 credits.
It could appear that the state is sending mixed signals if it increases the rigor of math standards while requiring only two math credits, McCauley said.
“We also know that a large percentage of our students are needing to take remedial courses when they enter our university system as freshmen, so we think there could be some link there too,” she said.
Local districts would continue to decide what math classes students must take to graduate.
The department will take public comment on the proposed regulation through Nov. 3.
Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner