Phi Beta Cons

Drop College Algebra Because It’s Too Hard?

One of the trends that’s debilitating America is this one: People who are unhappy about some aspect of the world gripe about it and demand that the world to change instead of exerting themselves to meet the challenge. If those gripers are the sort of people that leftists want to coddle, they usually get their way.  One example is the clamor for an increase in the minimum wage. Instead of improving their productivity to earn more, many Americans have been led to believe that the way to get more is to demand that government force employers to pay them more.

In the realm of higher education, we see the same thing. If basic courses are too hard, then just get rid of those requirements. As we read in this piece, Professor Andrew Hacker argues in a new book that college algebra should be dropped because too many students don’t want to work hard enough to learn it.

The way we have already so dumbed down the curriculum in college (not to mention the erosion of high school standards) explains why we have so many graduates who are so weak in basic skills as to be unemployable in jobs calling for more skill than, say, delivering pizza or serving coffee. This idea takes us further down that path.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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