Murray students may soon have one year of math sliced off their high school graduation requirements.
A proposal before the Murray Board of Education would relax the minimum graduation requirements, dropping the required math from three years to two.Stanford E. Mackay, director of secondary education, told the school board Wednesday night that the school district's minimum graduation requirements go beyond those of the state, even if a year of math is dropped.
He also said the other school districts in the Salt Lake Valley require only two years of math.
The educator said relaxing the math requirement will allow students more flexibility in arranging their schedules. To graduate, the Murray student would have to take a required 151/2 units out of a total of 24 units. It is possible to take 28 units in grades 9-12, but many students use four units for released-time seminary, he said.
In addition, some students have difficulty grasping math concepts, particularly the concept of the unknown in algebra, and requiring an extra year of math is forcing them to fail, he said.
Board member Sherry Madsen questioned the wisdom in relaxing the standard. She asked if there aren't other math options for struggling students besides algebra.
Murray High counselor Sam Moore said students who have difficulty with math can take consumer and business math but there just isn't a third-year option without repetition from these two classes.
He said exceptions are regularly made in the current requirement of three years. If it were tightly enforced, probably 10 percent of Murray High students wouldn't graduate, he said.
Mackay stressed that the new requirement would be the minimum and more math classes would be recommended to college-bound students.