by James Milgram, Sandra Stotsky
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research
October 09, 2013
National mathematics standards adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia that supporters say are designed to make high school graduates “college- and career-ready” and improve the critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pipeline do not prepare students to study STEM or even be admitted to a selective four-year college. “With the exception of a few standards in trigonometry, the math standards end after Algebra II,” said James Milgram, professor of mathematics emeritus at Stanford University. “They include no precalculus or calculus.” U.S. government data show that only one out of every 50 prospective STEM majors who begin their undergraduate math coursework at the precalculus level or lower will earn a bachelor’s degree in a STEM area.