Despite dramatic data generation in just the past few years, students are not getting the kind of instruction they need. That’s because we persist in teaching algebra, trigonometry and calculus (“Modern high school math should be about data science – not Algebra 2,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 23). As a result, they are severely shortchanged.
What all students need today is an understanding of how to analyze data. I understand the importance of traditional math for those who intend to make a career in the field. But I fail to see how these subjects have relevance to solving real-life problems for most students. Recognizing the need, the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2013 won approval from the University of California to allow data science to substitute for Algebra 2.
I hope school districts in other states will do the same. There is an urgent need to modernize the math curriculum if we expect students to be prepared for the fast-changing world of data.
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