Harder math, science classes in high school are key to STEM careers, study says

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

High schools around the United States are increasing mathematics and science courseloads, the better to prepare students for jobs in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. But simply adding more classes isn't enough, a new study shows.

Researchers from ACT, a company that administers college readiness tests, studied how increased course requirements in Illinois affected student achievement, the number of courses taken and college enrollment. A new law in that state requires high schoolers to take three years of math and two years of science to graduate.

The change follows a national trend: Education officials in 27 states required more high school math courses for the Class of 2013 than they did for the Class of 2006. And 19 states required more science classes, researchers noted.

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