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Achieve and the Dana Center at UT Austin have developed a series of benchmarks for high school students to succeed in post secondary education.  The entire list may be of interest, but the benchmark for Discrete Mathematics covers many of the topics that students experience only through Math Circle.  Here is the description of the importance of Discrete Math:

Discrete mathematics, sometimes called finite mathematics, can be thought of as the science of counting, arrangements, and algorithms. It offers a plethora of concrete, practical problems (e.g., fair apportionment, searching algorithms, error-correction methods) and a wealth of subtle problems whose statements are deceptively simple but whose solutions provide significant challenge. While events in the physical world are most often modeled by continuous mathematics (i.e., the calculus and prerequisite topics in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry), the increasingly important world of computers, information technology, and logistics employs a different type of mathematics. New approaches and applications require the use of discrete processes, many of which have not traditionally been included in core high school courses. To be well prepared for the future, all students need to understand the concepts and applications of this important area of mathematics.

Hat tip:  Math Forum Internet News

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