Raleigh News and Observer op-ed: SERI says North Carolina below average; physics now “The Course to Avoid” for the state’s high school students

From an op-ed in this morning’s Raleigh News and Observer by North Carolina State University Physics Professor David Haase and myself:

Many states look to North Carolina and its Research Triangle Park as the model for attracting high-technology industries. But a recent report from the American Institute of Physics says that the state lags badly in preparing its own K-12 students to succeed in college majors in science and engineering that lead to well-paid careers at Research Triangle Park and elsewhere…

Instead of being the capstone course for future scientists and engineers, high school physics has become “The Course to Avoid” for students in North Carolina. The SERI data suggests that by merely requiring high school biology, chemistry and physics for admission, the UNC system could increase its production of STEM graduates.

It’s worth noting that North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue is the present Chair of the Southern Regional Education Board, which supports states’ efforts (including those in Florida) to focus high school science teaching efforts on biology.

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