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Easton Schools May Bolster Math/Science Requirements

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 requirement, 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 requirments. 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 needed 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 teachers 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 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.

Rasterone January 22, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Sounds nice but if content is watered down and or passing grades passed out like water to make graduation easy it won't help?
Rasterone January 24, 2013 at 01:33 AM
Given that PDE has left the back door open to graduate 10% or more of students by waiver of upcoming Keystone tests , what confidence level do you have that a HS graduate can make change at Golden Arches if the computer is down? Is not the true emphasis to pump up graduation statistics? After all that proves no child was left behind!

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