Author Archives: Paul Cottle

Florida will soon allow high school students to substitute a 3D printing certification for Geometry in the state’s graduation requirements

At present, the graduation requirements for Florida’s public high schools nominally include four credits in math and three in science. I use the word “nominally” because the state’s statutes presently allow students to substitute certain industry certifications for two of … Continue reading

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Convincing parents about the importance of high school math and science courses is necessary to improve preparation for college STEM majors

If we are going to open the doors of opportunity to careers in fields like engineering, physical sciences, computing and architecture for more middle and high school students, we are going to have to convince the parents of those students … Continue reading

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Swimming against the tide of Florida’s intensifying teacher shortage: Orange County Public Schools leaders visit with students and faculty at FSU’s Physics Department

Florida’s state government is not going to solve the state’s intensifying teacher shortage – at least not anytime soon. So it’s up to the districts and their leaders to look for new ways to recruit the strong teachers that their … Continue reading

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NCTQ President Kate Walsh incorrectly argues in today’s Tallahassee Democrat that having a workaround for Florida’s General Knowledge teacher certification test would harm student learning. Here’s why she’s wrong.

The President of the National Council for Teacher Quality, Kate Walsh, argued in this morning’s Tallahassee Democrat that Florida should continue to require the state’s General Knowledge teacher certification test for all teaching candidates. I’ve submitted a response to the … Continue reading

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Would providing a way for teachers, schools and districts to work around the General Knowledge certification test – as HB 7061 proposes to do – hurt student learning? I don’t think so, and here is why…

If I were still young enough to have kids in Florida’s public K-12 schools, I would want their physics teachers to know their physics and how to teach it effectively, their math teachers to be strong in math content and … Continue reading

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Is Florida’s STEM push “paying dividends”? If the measure of success is preparing our state’s own students for success in fields like engineering, computer science and medical professions, then no.

The Lakeland Ledger recently published an editorial titled “Florida’s STEM push is paying dividends” that mostly reported on a ranking of “Most Innovative States” posted by the personal finance web site WalletHub that showed Florida ranked 18th among the 50 … Continue reading

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Florida’s teacher shortage: Numbers of first-time examinees taking and passing state’s high school math certification exam continued their sharp declines in 2018

The number of high school math teaching candidates taking Florida’s Math 6-12 certification exam for the first time continued to decline in 2018, as did the number of first-time examinees passing the exam. The number of candidates taking the Math … Continue reading

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