Florida underachieving in high school physics, according to survey of state departments of education

Information from 28 state departments of education and the corresponding agency in the District of Columbia reveals how poorly Florida is doing in getting its public high school students enrolled in physics classes.

The survey – conducted last summer and compiled by FSU undergraduate physics major Connor Oswald – placed Florida 22nd among the 29 jurisdictions for physics enrollment rate, which we define to be the numbers of physics course enrollments divided by the number of 12th graders.  Florida’s rate of .255 is about one-third of the rate for Massachusetts and is less than half Georgia’s rate.

The enrollment rates for all 29 jurisdictions included in the study are shown below.


According to the American Institute of Physics, the national physics-taking rate for the national high school graduating class of 2013 was 39%.

State department of education data were requested for the 2014-15 school year, but we included 2013-14 data in the survey if 2014-15 results were not available.

A detailed discussion of the study is given here:

physics-taking rates

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