March 2024

UC Professors’ Math Problem: How Does Data Science Fit In?

UC Professors’ Math Problem: How Does Data Science Fit In?

A Just Equations blog by founder and Executive Director Pamela Burdman was referenced by EdSource in an article about a University of California faculty committee recommendation to disqualify certain high school data science courses from meeting the university’s admissions requirements.

An influential committee of the UC Academic Senate weighed in again last month on the contentious issue of how much math high school students must take to qualify to attend a four-year California state university. 

It ruled that high school students taking an introductory data science course or AP Statistics cannot substitute it for Algebra II for admission to the University of California and California State University, starting in the fall of 2025.

Dozens of high school math teachers and administrators have signed a letter being circulated that will go to the UC regents. It reiterates support for data science and statistics courses and criticizes BOARS [Board of Admissions and Relations With Schools] for not consulting high school teachers and data science experts for their perspectives.

“Our schools and districts have adopted such courses because they provide an innovative 21st-century experience that excites and engages students, impart tangible quantitative skills needed for a wide variety of today’s careers and academic fields, and offer new ways for students to interact with and learn mathematics,” the letter states.

Pamela Burdman agreed in a blog post titled “The Latest in the Inexplicable War on High School Data Science Courses.” “The bottom line is that districts are increasingly offering these courses because they are relevant and engaging for many students who otherwise would be turned off by mathematics,” she wrote.

Read the Article

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