The Texas Board of Education has given preliminary approval to dropping algebra II as a requirement for high school students.
Members voted Thursday not to make major changes to the curriculum overhaul approved by the Legislature this summer.
Set to take effect next school year, the new rules would require only students choosing more academically focused coursework to take algebra II.
Current standards already allow students earning a diploma on the minimum academic plan to graduate without algebra II. But critics fear the changes will allow more to do so.
Some experts argued that algebra II is a key indicator to success in college and beyond, and that not requiring it would water down academic standards.
The board votes again Friday and will give final approval in January.
Explore further: Study finds EITC bolsters recipients' self-respect while helping them financially