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Are more kids dropping out because of math and science?

Language and math have always been part of the core public school experience in the US; science, by contrast, has often been considered an optional topic. But the combination of a push for greater standards and a recognition of science’s increasing role in our high-tech economy has resulted in the adoption of science requirements by many states. Now, an analysis of US census data suggests that the increased push for science may have a negative effect: an increase in the dropout rate in states that have adopted science requirements.

This isn’t to say that science is bad for students. “That there is positive impact of rigorous coursework when chosen by students is not controversial,” researchers based at theĀ Washington University School of Medicine wrote in a recent study, “but there has been ongoing debate over the effects of requiring a more difficult high school curriculum for everyone.”

Click here to read more from this April 12, 2014 post in ars technica by John Timmer. Click here to read the research paper.

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