**HOUSE RESOLUTION REGARDING MATHEMATICS**

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**PROFICIENCY AMONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS**

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**Chief Sponsor: Steve Eliason**

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**LONG TITLE**

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**General Description:**

9 This resolution of the House of Representatives expresses support for a requirement

10 that a Utah high school student be enrolled in, and pass, a mathematics course all four

11 years of high school unless the student demonstrates mathematics proficiency.

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**Highlighted Provisions:**

13 This resolution:

14 ▸ recognizes the need for a highly educated workforce;

15 ▸ recognizes the importance of attaining proficiency in mathematics while in high

16 school; and

17 ▸ urges the State Board of Education to consider a requirement that a high school

18 student be enrolled in, and pass, a mathematics course all four years of high school

19 unless the student demonstrates mathematics proficiency through completing certain

20 high-level mathematics courses or through testing.

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**Special Clauses:**

22 None

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*Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the state of Utah:*

25 WHEREAS, the state of Utah, Governor Gary Herbert, and the business community

26 have indicated that future economic success requires a significant, continued, and focused

27 effort to create a highly educated workforce with the necessary skills for employment;

28 WHEREAS, the Governor has set a goal to have 66% of the state's population between

29 the ages of 25 and 35 achieve a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020;

30 WHEREAS, a central component of Utah's statewide strategy is to increase degree and

31 certification production in economic areas identified as high-demand and high-wage earning,

32 with an emphasis on science, engineering, and health professions;

33 WHEREAS, this strategy requires significant focus on core academics, primarily

34 mathematics, which prepares students for high-demand, high-wage occupations;

35 WHEREAS, many Utah industries, including technology, manufacturing, healthcare,

36 and engineering are facing a significant shortage of the appropriately skilled, talented workers

37 necessary to meet current industry employment needs;

38 WHEREAS, significant progress toward preparing individuals to meet industry needs in

39 high-demand, high-wage employment sectors requires increasing focus and rigor in critical

40 core academic areas, such as mathematics;

41 WHEREAS, increased focus and rigor in mathematics will provide economic

42 opportunities for Utah's citizens and accelerate Utah's continued economic growth;

43 WHEREAS, the increased rigor of four years of required mathematics for high school

44 students has been identified as a best practice in education;

45 WHEREAS, the states with the top performing schools, such as Massachusetts,

46 Maryland, and Washington, have this requirement;

47 WHEREAS, requiring Utah high school students to demonstrate mathematics

48 proficiency or complete four years of mathematics during high school would not change the net

49 number of hours that students are required to spend in the classroom or the net number of hours

50 that teachers would be required to spend teaching;

51 WHEREAS, given the Utah Constitution's charge that the State Board of Education

52 exercise "general control and supervision," it is appropriate for this issue to be addressed by the

53 board;

54 WHEREAS, exceptions for special education students and other circumstances may be

55 considered when setting such a policy;

56 WHEREAS, Dr. Ruth V. Watkins, PhD, the Senior Vice President for Academic

57 Affairs at the University of Utah, recently said, "One of the most influential actions we can take

58 to strengthen academic preparation and increase college success -- through baccalaureate

59 degree completion -- is to require four years of mathematics during high school. This ensures

60 that students are academically prepared to enter college and successfully complete math course

61 work in their freshman year.";

62 WHEREAS, more than 50% of Utah students entering the higher education system

63 require mathematics remediation and developmental courses at significant cost to both students

64 and taxpayers;

65 WHEREAS, students entering college who require remediation or developmental

66 courses are significantly less likely to graduate;

67 WHEREAS, requiring high school students to demonstrate mathematics proficiency or

68 complete four years of mathematics during high school is one of the most influential policy

69 levers available to strengthen academic preparation and increase college success; and

70 WHEREAS, the House of Representatives of the state of Utah recognizes that there

71 may be a need to address future increased resources necessary for successful implementation:

72 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the

73 state of Utah urges the Utah State Board of Education to consider a requirement that a high

74 school student be enrolled in, and pass, a mathematics course all four years of high school

75 unless the student demonstrates mathematics proficiency through completing certain high-level

76 mathematics courses or through testing.

77 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the State Board

78 of Education.

**Legislative Review Note**

as of 2-16-15 5:04 PM

as of 2-16-15 5:04 PM

**Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel**