Andrew Hacker certainly can spark a debate. If you get the New York Times, you would have turned to the first page of the opinion section and seen: Is algebra necessary? Hacker is an emeritus professor of political science at Queens College, City University of New York. In his column, he questions whether a traditional approach to algebra is necessary in our schools, at least for those who don’t want to pursue a technical career. He argues that basic math skills are, of course, vital. And although the ideas behind algebra, trigonometry, and calculus may be important, are the specific equations really necessary for most of us?