California's requirement that each high-school graduate pass algebra was meant to better prepare students for college, but instead community colleges are finding more students lacking in both algebra and basic math skills. "It's the million-dollar question," said Mary Martin, who chairs the math department at a community college where nearly 52% of students require remedial math courses, up from 43% in 2003. "We are asking more of our high school students, so why isn't it transferring over to college?"

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