I took geometry as a high school sophomore, as many do. But schools these days apparently are trying to get more students to take geometry as freshmen.

More power to them.

This year, Polo did away with its advanced program for fifth- through eighth-graders. Instead, it is having all of its students go through the state's common core curriculum. Eighth-grade math classes will be essentially algebra and some geometry – more advanced than what my middle school offered.

Polo Community High School Principal Andy Faivre hopes this new curriculum will result in more freshmen taking geometry. That means they'll have time to take college algebra, trigonometry and calculus while in high school, he said.

Because I had geometry as a sophomore, I never took calculus in high school (or in college, for that matter), although I could have doubled up my math courses.

While our national jobless rate still hovers above 8 percent, many jobs remain vacant. That's because companies can't find qualified candidates. These positions are engineers, computer programmers, risk analysts, doctors.

Who do we get to fill many of these positions? We recruit people from other countries.

We've got a national unemployment rate of more than 8 percent, yet we can't fill all of these high-paying positions. That's where schools come in.

*Sauk Valley Media reporter David Giuliani covers the Whiteside and Lee county governments, Morrison and other smaller communities. He can be reached at dgiuliani@saukvalley or at 800-798-4085, ext. 525. *

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