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What are the required courses for mathematics?
There are no required courses for meeting the mathematics requirement. Students must earn at least three credits in mathematics that are aligned with subject area standards approved by the State Board and one credit that is outside of the standards. In addition, each pupil must successfully complete at least one mathematics or mathematics-related course during their final year of high school enrollment.
The 4th math credit can be earned through any course or experience where students are applying mathematics. For more information, see the Mathematics Credit Guidelines.
Does mathematics have to be taught in a traditional course sequence?
No. The law specifically states that the math standards can be taught in an integrated sequence (see math legislation). Furthermore, 380.1278(b) (7) states, "The board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy that operates a high school … may provide this curriculum by providing the credits specified in this section and Section 1278a, by using alternative instructional delivery methods such as alternative course work, Humanities course sequences, Career and Technical Education (CTE), Industrial Technology courses, or Vocational Education, or by a combination of these. School districts and public school academies that operate CTE programs are encouraged to integrate the credit requirements of this Section and Section 1278a into those programs."
Regardless of sequence and course name, students must be proficient in all state board approved math standards to earn the 3 math credits.
What is the difference between the 4th mathematics credit and the final year mathematics course requirement?
In many cases, the 4th mathematics credit and the final year mathematics requirement are one and the same. For instance, students who complete the required mathematics content standards by the end of their junior year will probably complete their 4th credit in their senior year. Similarly, traditional course-taking students electing to take Algebra II over two years for two credits will probably take the 2nd year of Algebra II in their senior year.
However, the 4th mathematics credit is not necessarily synonymous with the final year math credit. The intent of the final year math credit is that students are doing some sort of mathematics in their senior year regardless of whether they have already met the four credit requirements.
Does the 4th credit final year mathematics course need to be an actual Mathematics course?
No. The law provides local districts with the flexibility to determine what counts for the 4th/final year mathematics credit, including the content and duration. It does not need to be aligned with the mathematics standards because those are covered in the other three credits. The credit could be in a basic or an applied math area, such as Business Math, Accounting, Pre-algebra, etc. The course could also be an advanced mathematics course such as Pre-calculus or college-level courses through dual enrollment or early middle college programs. Non-mathematics courses or experiences where students apply mathematics can also counts as the 4th credit/Senior year mathematics course such as computer programming, science, or art courses; Career and Technical Education (CTE), a work-study program, or practicum where the students are using the mathematics they have already learned.
What is considered the "final year" in the context of the mathematics credit for students in Early Middle College?
Early middle college students must take a mathematics or math-related course in their 5th year.
What is technical mathematics?
Technical math is mentioned in the legislation simply as an optional course title. To grant math credit towards the three standards-based credits, a student must be proficient in those standards. Districts are responsible for ensuring that students demonstrate proficiency in Michigan's Mathematics Standards. Therefore, districts decide what mathematics to include in a technical mathematics course, just as they do with any other mathematics course.
Any course or experience awarding credit towards the three standards-based math credits must be aligned to the adopted math standards. Students are required to be proficient in ALL the math standards to be granted the 3 MMC math credits. There are no specified "Algebra II benchmarks" on the state high school assessment. The current Department-prescribed state high school assessment is the SAT, administered in the spring of students' junior year, which does not specify the standards assessed by courses.
Because of the specificity in the legislation regarding the exchange of Algebra II with a formal CTE program, there is no difference between exchanging the Algebra II credit and earning Algebra II credit through the integration of the Mathematics into a CTE program or class. Districts are encouraged to use the Mathematics Credit Guidelines to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn all of the mathematics standards before they graduate, whether they are enrolled in a formal CTE program or not.
Why are course names mentioned in the MMC law?
The MMC legislation describes various routes to earning the required math credits, including naming optional course titles. School districts may cover the standards and assess proficiency using a traditional course sequence, or they may choose to integrate math standards into other courses or opportunities. MDE encourages districts to build course sequences and opportunities for students that promote proficiency across all standards. The mathematics standards are not separated into courses; therefore, the requirement is based on proficiency across standards, not on the course name.
Can the four math credits be modified by a Personal Curriculum?
What the Michigan Merit Curriculum Law Says About Mathematics:
Sec 1278a (1)(a)(I)
At least four credits in Mathematics that are aligned with subject area content expectations developed by The Department and approved by the State Board under Section 1278b, including completion of at least Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II, or an integrated sequence of this course content that consists of 3 credits, and an additional Mathematics credit, such as Trigonometry, Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Applied Math, Accounting, Business Math, a retake of Algebra II, or a course in Financial Literacy as described in Section 1165. A pupil may complete Algebra II over two years with two credits awarded or over 1.5 years with 1.5 credits awarded for the purposes of this Section and Section 1278b. A pupil also may partially or fully fulfill the algebra II requirement by completing a Department-approved formal Career and Technical Education (CTE) program or curriculum that has appropriate embedded Mathematics content, such as a program or curriculum in Electronics, Machining, Construction, Welding, Engineering, Computer Science, or Renewable Energy and in that program or curriculum successfully completing the same content as the Algebra II benchmarks assessed on the Department-prescribed state high school assessment, as determined by The Department. Each pupil must successfully complete at least 1 Mathematics course during his or her final year of high school enrollment. This subparagraph does not require completion of Mathematics courses in any particular sequence.