Author Archives: Paul Cottle

We will need all of our K-12 teachers once a COVID vaccine has arrived and the pandemic is over. So why are we putting some of them at risk now?

I am afraid for my K-12 colleagues. There are many elementary, middle and high school teachers like me – of late middle age (59 in my case) with underlying health conditions (mine is asthma). As a college professor, I will … Continue reading

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Number of individuals entering Florida’s high school math teacher pipeline ended years-long decline in 2019

The number of individuals entering Florida’s pipeline for high school math teaching careers by taking the state’s certification in the subject for the first time ended its years-long decline in 2019. The number of those taking the exam for the … Continue reading

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My university has to change the way it educates young engineers and scientists – starting in the K-12 schools

On July 1st, 2019 – which was the 33rd anniversary of my first day on the job at the FSU Physics Department – my colleagues and our university’s leaders could remain convinced that there would always be an ample supply … Continue reading

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As new college graduates face a “horrendous” job market, Florida dramatically raises starting teacher salaries. Will talented young people solve Florida’s teacher shortage?

In the days before the COVID pandemic arrived in Florida, Governor DeSantis proposed and the Legislature approved a package intended to provide a substantial increase in starting pay for public school teachers. The package was a response to the state’s … Continue reading

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Is Florida an attractive destination for Silicon Valley tech “refugees”, as a James Madison Institute researcher said in the Orlando Sentinel? Apparently not. Florida’s education system might be the problem.

In her Orlando Sentinel op-ed, James Madison Institute researcher Andrea O’Sullivan argued that Florida is an attractive destination for Silicon Valley tech “refugees” who are being driven away by California’s taxes and regulations. O’Sullivan’s argument would be a great advertisement … Continue reading

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Florida TaxWatch recommends the expansion of virtual learning in K-12, colleges and universities to “reduce operating costs”. It is a lazy recommendation, and here is my open letter to the TaxWatch CEO.

Dominic Calabro, President and CEOFlorida TaxWatchTallahassee, FL Dear Dominic: I’m writing about one of the recommendations in your report, “Bringing Florida’s Budget Back from COVID-19, A Roadmap for a Responsible Recovery”. The recommendation I take issue with is this: “Florida … Continue reading

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There is no way to reproduce online the effectiveness of an in-person Studio Physics classroom. But my online students this fall will still deserve the best learning opportunity I can give them.

Teaching physics online reasonably well is really, really hard. I’m saying this even though I haven’t done it yet. I’m saying it because I’m watching my FSU colleagues knock themselves out trying to do a good job this summer. I’m … Continue reading

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Black students are severely underrepresented in Florida SUS undergraduate physics programs. Whose responsibility is it to solve that problem?

During the 2017-18 academic year, 182 students in Florida’s State University System graduated with bachelors’ degrees in physics. Only four of those students were Black, according to the IPEDS database. Physics is one of the STEM fields that the 2015 … Continue reading

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Florida’s Black students in the pipeline to bachelor’s degree-level careers in engineering, computing, mathematical sciences and physics: Severely underrepresented at the middle, high school and college levels.

Florida’s Black students are doing poorly in the pipeline to bachelor’s degree-level careers in engineering, computing, mathematical sciences and physics. The figure above illustrates this. The red line shows the percentage of students in Florida’s public K-12 schools in Fall … Continue reading

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Dual enrollment in Florida’s public high schools, Spring 2020: Few dual enrolled students are taking courses that help students earn bachelors’ degrees in STEM fields.

With fewer Florida families able to afford to send their children off to college because of the pandemic-caused recession, dual enrollment (in which high school students enroll in college courses) will likely become more attractive as a means of cutting … Continue reading

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