Monthly Archives: March 2016

At last: A serious proposal to improve education for low income students in Florida

If you want to attract professionals of extraordinary skill to a particularly difficult and taxing task, you have to pay them enough to make it worth their while. Every businessperson knows this. So why has it taken so long for … Continue reading

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Florida policy-makers ignore the state’s most pressing educational issue – the middle school math meltdown

Right now, Florida’s most pressing educational issue is not school choice or teacher certification.  It is not the loony Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program, nor foreign language education nor learning to program computers.  It is not even (and many … Continue reading

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Florida’s teacher evaluation system: District-to-district variations appear random

The plot below shows the percentages of teachers rated highly effective in each district.  I cannot find any patterns in the data. The data are from the Florida Department of Education web site which – as always – provides the … Continue reading

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Parents are critical for improving students’ preparation for science, engineering and health careers

The first time I ever saw a resolution by a state legislature honoring a deceased person was at my mother’s funeral in January.  My mom helped manage many legislative campaigns in Connecticut, and one of the legislators she worked with … Continue reading

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High school physics is a policy choice made at the state, district and school levels

A few slides from the talk I gave at the PhysTEC conference this past weekend:

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Florida’s Legislature strikes out again on improving K-12 math and science. But will it ever be any different?

Several years ago, an individual with a great deal more access to influential policy-makers than I have told me that we would never make progress in improving the preparation of high school students for bachelor’s degree-level STEM careers in Florida’s … Continue reading

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The fallout from HB 189: Alternative certification programs are in need of an overhaul

The Florida Senate today approved by a 38-1 vote a proposal to allow master’s degree holders in STEM fields to earn permanent teaching certifications without the coursework that teachers in other subjects (or STEM teachers without masters’ degrees) are required … Continue reading

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Is AP Computer Science too difficult for Florida’s school districts to offer? Somehow, 21 districts find a way to offer film studies courses, but not AP Computer Science

During the legislative session that is coming to an end, we’ve heard a great deal about how unfair it would be to require Florida’s school districts to offer computer programming courses like AP Computer Science.  Of the state’s 67 schools … Continue reading

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Will Best and Brightest make it more difficult to recruit physics teachers?

A few years ago, I had a conversation with a few high-ranking Florida education officials about the state’s poor track record in promoting high school physics.  The subject of physics teacher supply immediately came up, and both officials told me … Continue reading

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