R Hansen asks: >The students that do not continue, but accomplished arithmetic, are you saying that they are still on some sort of math track?
People who opt out of algebra are opting out of a lot of possibilities, but many remain. I don't believe algebra is necessary to learning how to program, for example. Bill Gates at one point didn't believe that a degree from Harvard was necessary to business success. For myself, I'd rather be truly engaged with whatever I'm doing, than to do a lot of stuff superficially for fear of missing out. In any case, people who want to, can learn algebra at almost any age.