The State Board of Education has approved new requirements that high school students must complete an extra math course to graduate starting later this decade.
The plan would apply to freshman entering high school in 2009. The new rules also would require that two of a student's six electives be some combination of art, foreign language or vocational classes.
The board did --not-- back an initial plan that would have required all students to take two foreign language courses. There were complaints that requirement would harm art and vocational programs.
Students will now need to take four math courses to graduate, which likely would include two algebra classes, geometry and one other course.
State education leaders say a more challenging curriculum would help students.