Monthly Archives: February 2018

Courageous school counselors are critically important for building a school culture of excellence.

Laura Evans and Sharon Hofer, counselors for Mosley High School’s MAPPS (Mosley AP Program for Success) program, have a lot of guts. Three years ago, the two counselors decided they wanted to dramatically improve the preparation of their program’s graduates … Continue reading

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The stubborn defense of mediocrity: two examples from math and science education in Florida high schools

Human beings seem to have an enormous capacity for stubbornly defending comfortable mediocrity.   I’ve seen two examples of that this week in the context of high school math and science education in Florida. The first was the announcement from Step … Continue reading

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Poor high school preparation keeps many students out of STEM fields. How should we solve the problem? Here is what the UF Physics Department does.

About one-third of the students who arrive in my introductory physics classes did not take physics in high school and thus are at considerably higher risk for failure than well-prepared students who did take high school physics.  These higher-risk students … Continue reading

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Florida Legislature’s education reform initiatives ignore the most important issue – recruiting and retaining strong teachers

The highest priority for any K-12 reform initiative should be recruiting more strong teachers into classrooms and then making sure they stay there. Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature’s recent reform packages – HB 7069 last year and the various proposals in … Continue reading

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With applications to universities like FSU at an all-time high, is it time to require more high school math and science for admission?

Some of the most frustrating experiences I have as a physics educator at FSU have to do with mistakes that students made in high school – with the approval of their parents, counselors and teachers. I have had students come … Continue reading

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On the 10th anniversary of Florida’s science standards, a “thank you” to Florida Citizens for Science

Nearly ten years ago, on February 19, 2008, the Florida State Board of Education voted by the narrowest possible margin, 4-3, to adopt science standards for the state’s K-12 public schools that included the theory of evolution. The board’s vote … Continue reading

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80 students inducted in a special Future Physicists of Florida ceremony in Marathon

Tuesday afternoon’s Future Physicists of Florida induction ceremony, which recognized 80 middle school students from the area of the Keys hardest hit last fall by Hurricane Irma, was special for several reasons. First, the inducted students – who attend Sugarloaf … Continue reading

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Are parents’ and students’ college admission fears driving down high school physics enrollments?

Last summer, Florida State University’s lab school, which graduates about 130 high school students each year, spent $30,000 to build the ideal hands-on studio-style physics learning environment.  In one of its classrooms, the school installed D-shaped tables that seat six … Continue reading

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