Educators focusing on mathematics to encourage STEM degrees

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As many kids head back to school, there is a new focus on mathematics.

Joining us in the KXAN studio to talk about the importance of getting kids to learn is Dr. Carol Fletcher, the Deputy Director from the Center for STEM Education at UT Austin, and Derek McDaniel, the Director of mathematics at Del Valle ISD.

The state required three years of math in High School. However, Dr. Fletcher is encouraging teens to go beyond that.

“When we compare that with those freshman who take one more math class beyond Algebra II, [22 percent] more of them enroll in college,” said Fletcher.

Additionally, twice as many students earned their college credentials after taking more math classes. Of those students, they were four times more likely to earn a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math.

Focusing on middle school, researchers have found a big gap between low and non-low income eighth graders when it comes to taking Algebra I.

Advice for parents:

Step 1: Select a career pathway in high school. Start as soon as possible to help your student identify their interest and passion, so that they can select their career pathway in 8th grade.

Step 2: Make sure your student takes the most advanced math possible

Step 3: If they are in college, make sure they enroll full-time with at least 12 hours each semester

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