26/10/2015 - 20:17

Mandatory Math Courses for Mass High Schools


People say that the only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics. It seems like Cathedral High School students will be learning a lot of math with mandatory math courses for all years attending the school.

Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago has teamed up with students from across the state to spread the word about new math admissions standards for state universities. Starting in 2016, undergraduate colleges and state universities will need four-year math requirements from both in and out-of-state students. Cathedral High School is one private institute that’s already one step ahead.

Cathedral, serving about 280 students, created its math policy in 2004 when it became an independent Catholic High School. The school combines seventh to twelve grade students in order to create a conjoined junior high and high school. The rigorous curriculum acts as a six-year preparatory course requiring six years of math, history and social sciences, English, theology, and science.  The school also requires five years of  elective courses, four years of college readiness courses, and two years of language courses.

The mathematics classes range from Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and applied math. Students also have a choice of advanced placement classes which challenge them further in Calculus. This is determined by a placement test that is taken by students applying to the private school.

The faculty believes the school takes pride in requiring math classes for all six years. Students who attend these classes are often passionate, and about 40 percent express interest in going to school for something math related.

“We like in an increasing age of technology and information continually driven by mathematics”, said math and science teacher Robert McGurrin, “so I think it’s something that students need.”

One hundred percent of Cathedral High students graduate, and again one hundred percent of students receive college admission. Many of those students end up attending a University of Massachusetts school or another state school.

“We provide students the mathematical background they need to succeed in college”, said Principal Helennan Civian, “so I can’t think of not requiring four years or more of math.”



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