That's easily understood. People have seen too many movies and ignorance breeds fear. (Bear in mind that the U.S. is the country trying to remove algebra, geometry, and trigonometry from school because they're too hard for students, so ignorance is, unfortunately, something to be expected.)

Actually the requirements have been tougher than ever. But, there's a movement to standards-based instead of subject-based education, leading to more integrated, project-based learning. There is a concern from some people that it'll lead to box checking instead of deep knowledge in hard sciences. I presume that what they meant. Oh but there does seem to be some movement to stop making college students take irrelevant math, to take classes more tuned to their study areas.

I said "trying to", so far those pushing the issue haven't succeeded. Just the fact that there's a movement trying to do this is kind of scary.

Yes, I think it's about the Common Core State Standards (which is just starting to be implemented in CA and not implemented in Texas yet, but probably there are some efforts to implement something similar). The big contention is that the standards end at a level of Algebra II and is missing Trigonometry, Precalculus, or Calculus. Edit: but looking more close, in Texas it may be worse, there's a push to even remove Algebra II as a requirement for high school exit exams: http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/03/texas-will-take-a-big-leap-backward-if-the-legislature-passes-sb-3-sb-1724-and-hb-5.html/

It's also directly and completely inaccurate - IQ scores have been rising steadily in the past century (It's called the Flynn Effect.) People have been screaming about how the next generation is stupid and lazy ever since the dawn of humanity. Socrates warned about the dangers of this insane idea called writing. It was going to destroy society. Take it easy, man. The next generation can take care of itself.

As a Limey pond-hopper, despite having an ex-teacher and now math-science-accounting-whateverelsetheyneed tutor as a wife, I don't know exactly what each class entails so it's hard to judge. What I would say is that I really wouldn't be that concerned about stopping at Algebra I (if it's what I think it is), I'm more concerned that people actually understand the math instead of passing the class. While there are good arguments for broad education (compared to the narrower education in the British model) my viea is that the credit-based system sucks because it focuses far too much on the journey instead of the destination. Realistically a solid ability to solve linear algebraic problems is more than enough for people to function well in society and even that is not a gimme since it involves a level of abstraction that some people find extremely hard.

I think math and science has long since been removed from the classroom by incompetent teaching. For example most get this math problem wrong. They know the mechanics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, but don't know the meaning of the numbers they are manipulating. They read the problem, spot keywords, manipulate the numbers in the manner they have been programmed and get the wrong answer because they didn't understand the numbers they were manipulating. Question: Drive 25 miles at 25 MPG, then another 25 miles at 100 MPG. What is the average MPG for the trip? Answer: 40 MPG. Why? The distance was 25 miles + 25 miles = 50 miles and fuel consumed was 25 miles / 25 miles/gallon + 25 miles / 100 miles/gallon = 1.25 gallons. 50/1.25 = 40 miles per gallon. Too many answer (25 MPG + 100 MPG) / 2 = 62.5 MPG. That answer would be correct if one consumed 1 gallon at 25 MPG and 1 gallon at 100 MPG.

@N4HHE - I keep trying to apply it to my Tesla but I'm not sure how to work with "0 Gallons" in the denominator.