(CNN) -- In an op-ed in Sunday's New York Times, Professor Andrew Hacker asks "Is Algebra necessary?"
He answers that question "no." Hacker says that algebra "is a stumbling block for all kinds of students" and that it takes a toll on both high school and college graduation rates.
He says that while the study of math is important, "...in the decade ahead a mere 5 percent of entry-level workers will need to be proficient in algebra or above."
The question of whether or not to teach algebra sparked a lively discussion on Monday's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien.
CNN education contributor Steve Perry says for students of historically disadvantaged populations, algebra "does present a real barrier" to graduating college because "too few take requisite number of math courses."
Perry acknowledges that "Algebra is a gatekeeper," but adds "I don't know that it's necessary for every child." He says that we need to get away from "one-size-fits-all academic experiences."
"We need to create more compelling academic experiences that children are more connected to," says Perry.
He says that colleges and the SAT measure algebra. "But is what we're teaching the best way to ensure we're getting the best from every child?
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
News for the Home Room
Most teachers believe search engines like Google are beneficial to their students, but they also think those same Internet research tools are creating an "easily distracted generation with short attention spans," according to a new study released earlier in November.
Seth Chumley, a senior at Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in St. Louis Park, Minn., hasn't given the slightest thought to buying a class ring.
Teenagers need their own space for so many reasons. Yes, they should be watched over and guided, but during the teen years, a need for independence sprouts and as parents we can help them feel comfortable in their own, personal independent space.
Less than half of the children in America who are eligible for a free or reduced breakfast take advantage of the USDA-provided meal.
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