Monthly Archives: September 2009

Underrepresentation of African-Americans Among Bachelor’s and Doctoral Degree Recipients

The figure below illustrates the fractions of bachelor’s and doctoral degree recipients in a variety of areas in 2004 who were African-American.  The data are taken from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Science Resources Statistics.  The fraction of the … Continue reading

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End-of-Course Exams – Getting the Price Right

A comprehensive program of end-of-course (EOC) tests is critical to improving high school science in Florida.  Last spring, the Florida Legislature nearly approved a bill that would have scrapped the 11th grade Science FCAT – which tests students in biology, … Continue reading

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Florida vs. Massachusetts – Are Great Science Standards Enough to Raise Student Achievement?

At last week’s Florida Board of Education meeting, K-12 Chancellor Frances Haithcock and Deputy Chancellor Mary Jane Tappen presented a comparison of the standards and performance of the K-12 systems in Massachusetts and Florida.  One of the items they highlighted … Continue reading

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Some Old News – Bright Futures Scholarship Policies Steer Students Away from Science and Engineering Fields

I’ve been told that the Florida Legislature cannot adopt the recommendation of the Gang of 90 to require four courses for Bright Futures eligibility because Bright Futures is a political third rail.  Never mind that Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi all … Continue reading

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Using SAT Subject Tests as EOC Tests in Chemistry and Physics – A Real Bargain

It’s been pointed out that the College Board charges $15 for an SAT Subject Test, and that this might be the most cost-effective way to provide EOC testing in physics and chemistry for Florida high schools.  Chancellor Haithcock pointed out … Continue reading

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Science Education Policy Menu: What Would You Order?

The Democrats and Republicans in the Florida House of Representatives now appear to agree on an adjustment to the state’s high school graduation requirements in science.  At present, students are required to take three science courses, two of which must … Continue reading

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Only 16% of FL HS grads have taken physics

During recent months, I have often quoted the statistic that only 16% of Florida high school grads have taken a physics course.  I have been asked the source for that number a few times, so I’ll offer it here.  The … Continue reading

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