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Do Easton Grads Need More Math and Science?

School board considering changing the rules for Easton math/science classes.

If you're a member of Easton Area High School's class of 2013, you'll be able to graduate with three years of math and science under your belt.

If you're a younger student, then your high school experinece might be a little different.

That's because the Easton Area School Board is getting closer to changing the district's high school graduation requirements, so that students need to take four years of math and science courses before they can get a diploma. 

The board is expected to vote later this month on whether to change the requirements. On Tuesday, board members heard from Stephen Furst -- district director of teaching and learning -- who outlined two proposals.

Both of them involve requiring an extra year of math and science, but one of them would reduce the total electives students need to take, so that they'd end up with 24.5 credits. The other option keeps the electives, meaning students would need 26.5 credits to graduate. 

High school Principal Michael Koch said his kids will be up to the challenge.

“Our kids are resilient," he told the board. "If we tell them they need to be at 26.5…Rovers are resilient, and they will reach that goal."

Furst said the changes will cost the district: He anticipates needing to spend about $700,000 to hire additional teachers and get books and other equipment.

"It would mean additing additional staff to the high school when we are trying to retain our fund balance," he said.

Furst noted that most of the class of 2013 takes a math or science class as an elective.

He recommended the district spend some time studying the issue, and have the change go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year. 

Board member Robert Moskaitis -- who has advocated more science and math education in the past -- said the district needs to move more quickly. He argued students will need science and math skills to compete for technological jobs.

“This is not a time to drag our feet. This is a time to accelerate the change," he said.

Anonymous January 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM
I was actually shocked that any school would only require 3 yrs of math and science. What they need though as well is math teachers in the elementary school. Many elem teachers have never had any math beyond pre-algebra or if they did, do not remember it, therefore they really do not know where all the concepts are going. They do not know how to properly set the stage so that students can be prepared for algebra and beyond. It is not the elem school teachers, fault but we need a math person to teach these children from about 3rd grade on. The more math you have, the more options you have. IT is a language that is valuable. The reason that many have trouble is because they do not see its value. Yes, 4 years of math in high school.
Leslie January 17, 2013 at 07:59 PM
The idea of 4 years of science and math sounds good at first, but I am concerned that it lacks the flexibility that some students need. Would it make it harder for students learning a trade at CIT to meet all of their requirements? What about students that enter high school with advanced math? They may not want or need to take Calculus or Statistics. They may want to use the time for additional languages or other concentrations. Not everyone wants to be an engineer or major in the sciences.
PrincessDeuce January 23, 2013 at 05:29 PM
I agree with you Leslie

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