Discussion: Algebra vs Statistics

For this discussion, we will be talking about the article Down With Algebra II! In it, the author argues that, based on a book by Andrew Hacker, algebra II should be eliminated as a required course and replaced with a class on statistics.

Let me start by saying I strongly disagree with the author that advanced algebra has little worth. If I felt that way, I wouldn’t be writing a blog to help people see how math is used. However, the discussion to be had here isn’t whether algebra is good for students to study, but rather if statistics would be better. Statistics are indeed everywhere, and many people are forced to understand things like medians or means to understand news discussions about political topics. However, is that of more worth to students than learning the abstract thinking that accompanies algebra?

What do you think? Would algebra or statistics work better as a general education course?

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