The Brevard County School Board is considering a plan that is intended to raise the “national prominence” of its high schools but that would drop physics from its standard science sequence in 2018-19, according to the Space Coast Daily and school board records.
Brevard is presently Florida’s leader in physics enrollment rate, with a rate of 84 enrollments per 100 12th graders. Brevard’s rate is roughly double the national rate and leads Florida runner-up Seminole by 25 points.
While Brevard leads the state in physics enrollment rate, its calculus-taking rate is about half those of the state’s leaders, Seminole and St. Johns Counties.
Brevard makes heavy use of the non-honors Physics course, Physics 1. Nearly half of Brevard’s 4074 physics enrollments in Fall 2016 were in Physics 1. In contrast, fewer than one-third of Seminole County’s physics enrollments were in Physics 1.
If Brevard’s physics enrollment drops as dramatically as expected after the subject is dropped from the district’s standard science sequence, it will provide another downward push on the state’s physics enrollment, which has already dropped by 5% over the last two years.