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High-School Course Requirements

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The American public continues to believe that schools should require all high-school students to take coursework in the basic subjects of mathematics, English, history, science, and computer training, the 1990 Gallup poll on education found.

As in past years, the 22nd survey of opinion on education issues found that more than 70 percent of Americans would require high-school instruction in the five subjects, and that more than half would also require geography, career education, business education, and health education.

However, it found, the poll respondents also draw distinctions between requirements for those who plan to attend college and for those who do not. While 81 percent said college-bound students should take science, for example, only 58 percent would require the subject for those not planning to attend college. Three-fourths said non-college-bound students should take vocational training.

The survey also found that several subjects favored by educators remain low priorities among the public. Despite the growing interest in foreign-language instruction, the survey found, slightly more than half of those responding would require it for college-bound students, and a fourth would mandate foreign languages for the non-college-bound. Less than a fourth--a decline since 1981--would require art and music instruction, the survey found.

Copies of the poll are available at $10 for 25 copies from Gallup Poll, Phi Delta Kappa, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, Ind. 47402-0789.

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