Revamped business education and mathematics programs and a challenging new course in economics may be offered to students in county high schools.

If the school board approves the course changes proposed by staff members in the school system's curriculum division:

* An advanced placement course in micro and macro economics will be introduced in the 1992-1993 school year.

The course will be an elective, not required for high school graduation, but will be usefulfor College Entrance Examination Board tests, according to R. William Sowders, executive supervisor of social studies.

Sowders credited Mount Hebron High School Principal Edgar T. Markley with the idea for a separate course in economics. The subject is now taught in social studies courses.

The supervisor said Markley was confident students will sign up for the course.

"He assured me it was like 'Fieldof Dreams,' " Sowders said. "Build the field and students will come."

* Four mathematics courses will be revised and renamed and one new math course introduced in the 1992-1993 school year.

General Math I will become Algebraic Concepts; General Math II will become Mathematical Concepts and Applications; Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry for gifted students will become Pre-calculus for gifted students.

The new course, tentatively titled Advanced Math I, will become part of a two-year sequence for students who don't plan to take calculus.

The first year will cover algebraic skills and an introduction to trigonometry and statistics.

Advanced Math II will be the revised version of the existing trigonometry and analytic geometry course.

Trigonometry will still be part of the math program, but many of the functions that yesterday's students sweated over can now be performed in seconds on calculators, said Janie Zimmer-Long, supervisor of mathematics.

"We're trying to move from number-crunching to more critical thinking and problem solving," she said.

William Moulds, executive supervisor of mathematics, said the revised general math courses will give students something different than "the same old arithmetic."

Low enrollments have forced some students to repeat a general math course because no alternative is available, Moulds said.

The new courses are designed to be offered every other year so students won't be stuck in the same class a second time, he said.

* Business education students will be offered a course in using computer software in place of Office Technology and Keyboarding III in the 1993-1994 school year.

Shorthand and record keeping will be dropped fromthe course offerings this fall.

Shorthand has become obsolete, associate superintendent Joan M. Palmer told the school board during a discussion of the proposed changes last week.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposed courses July 25.

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