Recent attempts to include data science courses in high school math curricula have sparked a debate. Data science courses teach statistical concepts and computer programming using real-world data sets. Some argue that these courses provide relevant and engaging content for students, especially those who are turned off by traditional math. However, others believe that these courses detract from STEM education. Despite objections from some university STEM professors, many high school math teachers support the inclusion of data science courses. They argue that these courses have transformed their teaching practices and the lives of their students, including special education, English learners, and calculus students. Algebra II is traditionally considered a stepping-stone to calculus and is often required for university admission. However, critics argue that the content in Algebra II is not always essential and can be tedious to learn. They believe that statistical reasoning and data fluency are becoming increasingly important in the 21st century. Both sides of the debate agree on the importance of expanding access to STEM fields, but differ on how math should be taught. Some efforts are underway to update Algebra II by incorporating data science concepts or teaching algebraic basics within data science courses. The question remains of how to ensure that students have the statistical and data fluency required in the modern world.

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By hassani

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