There are no words: Underrepresentation of Black, Hispanic and female students among Florida students passing AP exams in math-intensive subjects

underrepresentation.jpg

Advertisements
Image | Posted on by

Florida is an AP powerhouse – except in math and science.

The Florida Department of Education and its cheerleaders regularly brag about the performance of the state’s high school students on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

Sunshine State News columnist Nancy Smith recently cheered that Florida “is fifth in number of high advanced placement test scores of any state relative to the number of 11th and 12th-grade students in the state”.  Smith’s column was written in response to a controversy over a political ad run by Governor Rick Scott (who is running for U.S. Senate) that cited the state’s AP success.

And the state is indeed a national leader in AP social science exams.  Florida does well in English, the arts and world languages as well.

This success is driven at least in part by the state’s system of financial incentives for public high schools where students succeed on AP exams.

But those financial incentives are not enough to drive success in AP math and science subjects, where Florida is merely average.

The first plot below compares Florida’s success in different categories of AP exams to that of the nation at large and our number one competitor, Massachusetts.  Specifically, the plot shows the numbers students passing AP exams per 1,000 high school students.

apcategories

Florida competes with or even beats Massachusetts in world languages, social sciences, English and the arts.  But Florida students are far behind those in Massachusetts in math and science.  And Florida is only at the national average in those subjects.

The plot below compares Florida with Massachusetts and the nation for individual math and science subjects.  The striking thing is that many Florida students take and pass the AP exams in the program’s easiest science subjects – Environmental Science and Computer Science Principles.  Without those two subjects, Florida would look even worse than it already does.

subjects

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2018 AP exam results: Florida stays in its math and science rut

The results of AP examinations taken by Florida students in May and released by the College Board yesterday show a state stuck in a math and science rut.

The rates at which Florida students take and pass AP exams in math and science have been stuck for years at about the national averages despite the state’s program of financial incentives to schools for AP success.  That incentive program has been an important factor in making Florida a national leader in AP social science subjects.

While Florida AP results in most math and science subjects were approximately unchanged from last year, there was movement in three math and science subjects – Calculus BC, Computer Science A and Biology.

The numbers of students taking and passing Calculus BC – the second-year AP calculus course – are continuing to grow despite the lack of growth in the first-year course, Calculus AB.

Computer Science A has resumed its steady growth after last year’s downward bump, which was likely caused by the introduction of the lower-level AP Computer Science Principles course (which is not shown below).

The number of students taking the AP Biology exam continued to grow quickly this year.  However, the number of students passing the exam was roughly constant – reflecting a sharp drop in the state’s passing rate on the Biology exam.

The AP exam numbers reported by the College Board do not distinguish between students attending public and private schools, so all of these students are included in the numbers graphed below.

calcab

calcbc

statistics

phys1

phys2

physicscm

physicscemjpg

chemistry

biology

envsci

compscia

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Sure there is good news about Florida’s schools. But there is bad news, too – about how poorly the state prepares its students for college STEM majors.

Florida is doing a lousy job preparing its high school students for college majors in STEM fields, especially those like engineering and the physical and computing sciences that require strong mathematical skills and provide technological leadership.

And as a state we haven’t made a dent in the problem of providing equitable access to these careers for black students and women.

The low priority that Florida education leaders have assigned to providing access to such careers can make the issue disappear into the background of the broader gains that the state’s students have made. Ron Matus from Step Up for Students properly pointed out that the overall proficiency level of the state’s elementary and middle school students in reading has improved over time, and that our elementary students’ math performance has improved as well. (Sorry, Ron – I’m just not happy with the NAEP middle school math results)

Nevertheless, it’s important to provide Florida’s students with the best possible opportunity to enter the technological leadership careers in engineering and the physical and computing sciences. It’s true that not all of the state’s students would be able to take advantage of those opportunities. But schools exist to give every student the chance to completely fulfill her or his potential. Maybe one-third of the state’s students could enter these careers if given access to strong high school-level educators in math and science.

When it comes to preparing students for college STEM majors, Florida seems to be going in reverse. High school physics enrollments are down 8% over the last three school years – and that in a state where a 2015 survey showed that high school students enroll in physics at only half the national rate. High school chemistry enrollments are down 9% in only two years. Students take and pass Advanced Placement math courses only at about the national average rate despite our state’s financial incentives for schools. (These are results from 2017. Results from 2018 will be available shortly.)

The Advanced Placement results for math, the physical sciences and computing tell another story as well – that the severe underrepresentation of black students among State University System STEM bachelor’s degree grads in engineering, computing and physics has its origins in the K-12 system. The situation for women in these fields is also awful – only 20% of bachelors’ degrees in these fields (both statewide and nationally) are awarded to women. Advanced Placement results show that situation begins to take hold in high school as well.

degrees_physics Sheet1-3

degrees_physics Sheet1-4

To make things even worse, the supply of new high school math teachers (Math 6-12) in Florida continues to fall.

math612

All of those observations are based on solid data.

Now I’m going to make an assertion that I am basing only on my experience with students in my own introductory physics classes at FSU, where one-third of my students (majors in engineering, physical and computing sciences) didn’t take a high school physics class. While the state’s traditional high schools are, as a group, doing a poor job preparing students for these college majors, the state’s charter and tax credit scholarship schools are not making things better. There are exceptions of course – the Orlando Science School cranks out highly qualified students (although I’ve never had a single one in my classroom despite my years of visits there). But my Catholic high school graduates are generally underprepared, having had either no high school physics class or poorly taught classes with weak teachers.

If my anecdote-level observation is correct (and Ron is welcome to demonstrate that it is not – and that would actually make me happy), then perhaps it is because the charter and private schools are generally small compared to the public schools and teaching courses like calculus and physics is easier to justify budget-wise with larger pools of students.

The other hypothesis that seems reasonable is that most charter and private schools intrinsically set a lower priority on math and science. I have no way of testing that hypothesis, though – and as I noted above I know of a few such schools that emphasize math and science.

But to address the problem of poor STEM preparation, Florida’s education policy-makers would first have to acknowledge that we have that problem and then decide that it should be a priority to remedy it. I don’t see any sign of either happening in any of the state’s education sectors.

Posted in Uncategorized

What the nation learned from FSU’s undergraduate program in Physics: “Prepare all students for success”

In the fall of 2016, a national task force formed jointly by the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers published a report titled “Phys21: Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers”.  In the report, the task force cited five of the nation’s college- and university-based undergraduate programs in physics for their exemplary work in preparing for a range of career options available to bachelor’s degree holders in physics.  The bachelor’s degree program in the Florida State University Physics Department was one of the five programs cited.

jtupp

Surprisingly, there was little reaction to the citing of the Physics Department’s undergraduate program by the university’s central administration and the institution’s media relations group.  There was no recognition of the accomplishment at all at the state level – by the State University System’s Board of Governors.  

In fact, whether the mission of the undergraduate program as cited by the report – “Prepare all students for success” – is even an appropriate mission for a research university physics department is still an active topic of discussion among the department’s faculty.  Obviously, there is enough support for this statement of mission among the faculty that it is still in force.  However, it has been contested, particularly during the last year.  The lack of recognition of this achievement by the university’s leadership has not helped.  

Given all this, the faculty member primarily responsible for the success of the undergraduate program, Professor Susan Blessing, should be credited with an extraordinary feat of leadership.   Recently, she has finally started receiving the credit for this work that she has long deserved – the Pegram Award from the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society, election to Fellowship in the American Physical Society, and a seat on the society’s prestigious Panel on Public Affairs.

Below, I reprint the section of the task force report devoted to FSU’s program.    

jtupp_fsu

What can we learn from Florida State University? Prepare all students for success.

As a large research university, the physics department at Florida State University must balance competing priorities, including graduate and undergraduate education and research productivity, among a diverse faculty. A strong undergraduate committee and a focus on preparing all students for success have led to a number of successful curricular interventions that prepare students for several key transitions in the major, including entrance to the major and the transition to the upper division, and support students in developing communication and computation skills within the context of the discipline.

These interventions help keep students from leaving the major and better prepare them for success. The department’s other strong focus is on student community. Through intentional group work (particularly at the lower level), connection to faculty, and a centrally located lounge that keeps students visible, students are strongly encouraged to interact with one another.

How did the Florida State University Physics Department get to where it is today?

Three key elements of the department’s approach are the following, described in more detail below:

(1) A strong undergraduate affairs committee, supported by the faculty
(2) A focus on the undergraduate experience for all students
(3) Strategic teaching assignments at the introductory level

(1) A strong undergraduate affairs committee, supported by the faculty, has led substantial improvements in the department. As at most large institutions, departmental committees make recommendations that are then discussed and voted on by the broader faculty.  The committee, which has been led by professor Susan Blessing for the last eight years, is strong and well-informed: Members attend conferences, bring back ideas, have discussions, and make recommendations to the faculty.

For example, when the committee proposed offering additional courses to improve student success within the major (Communication in Physics, Discovering Physics, and Physics Problem Solving; more detail below), the faculty agreed that these were critical,
and eventually approved them as required and/or prerequisite courses, once data demonstrated their effectiveness. However, some of these additional courses are taught as an overload, and it can be difficult to ensure consistent implementation of a novel structure across the faculty.

(2) A focus on the undergraduate experience for all students is exemplified in many of the nonstandard courses offered by the department, which aim to prepare all students for success. “We’re trying to get beyond the top 3% [of students] here,” explains faculty
member Paul Cottle, “and make [physics] accessible to all.”

Accordingly, the introductory course has undergone multiple iterations in an attempt to establish the best learning environment.  Student advising was redesigned to ensure high-quality advice is being given to students; learning is assessed using validated concept inventories, particularly the Force Concept Inventory; and the introductory course is taught by faculty members who have a particular interest in student learning.

The department’s care for the skills gained through the major is reflected in the fact that faculty members created their own courses to fulfill two university requirements, communication and computing, rather than letting students take general courses designed for all majors. The teaching culture is supported with hiring decisions that include criteria teaching as well as research accomplishments:  “We don’t hire people we don’t expect to do a good job teaching,” explains chair Horst Wahl, “even if they’re a super research star.”

(3) Strategic teaching assignments at the introductory level have enabled the department to make sure that students encounter enthusiastic, high-quality teachers in their first year. Teaching assignments are made in a typical fashion: The faculty members are polled to see what courses they might like to teach, and the chair and associate chair try to accommodate those requests. Given that certain courses are more popular to teach than others, faculty members who don’t get their first choice are promised that their preference will be honored in the future. However, an ongoing challenge is that the same instructors are often “stuck” in the introductory sequence, due to familiarity with these complex courses (such as multi-section or Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP) courses; see below), and the department does not have a formal policy regarding the number of times that a given faculty member can teach a course.

Strategies used at Florida State University

The broad values detailed above have led to the following concrete strategies:

(1) A one-credit seminar introduces students to the program. Members of the department’s undergraduate committee noticed that students were leaving the program during or after their first year, often with no contact with anyone in the department or with other  majors. Informal discussions showed that students weren’t aware of what physicists actually do, and that they lacked community.  Thus, the department instituted Discovering Physics, a one-credit seminar typically taken in the first semester of the first year, which includes an undergraduate panel, a physicist panel, lab tours, a discussion of career paths and graduate school, and resume writing. Students in the course must also interview a professional physicist (in groups of three), report on that interview in class,
and discuss what they learned in small groups.

“Nobody wants to major in physics to solve inclined plane problems,” explains Dr. Cottle.  “This keeps them engaged by involving them in things that they want to learn about.” The timing of this course is important for maintaining that engagement, since many students would otherwise not take any physics courses in the first semester of the major while they are fulfilling their calculus prerequisite. This course approach has many other advantages, including exposing students quickly to research (many go on to do a research project with the faculty member they interview) and building community among the cohort. The course was successful enough that it became required for the major.

However, how a good idea such as the Discovering Physics course is implemented can matter as much as the idea itself. When the course gradually devolved into formal faculty presentations about their work, students didn’t interact as much. The creator of the course is now working to recapture the original vision and include more student interaction.

(2) A specialized course offers experience in communication. In response to the university’s oral communication requirement, physics faculty members decided to offer their own communication course (Communication in Physics), usually taken in the junior or senior year. Students are required to give three talks during the course of the semester, either on their own research project or another physics topic. Students produce an outline (which is critiqued), give the talk, and receive anonymous feedback using a peer evaluation rubric.

(3) Undergraduate research is emphasized and supported. Over half of the physics and physics and astrophysics majors participate in undergraduate research (usually for course credit), and most of these students write an honors thesis. The above-mentioned courses play a strong role in this success. In Discovering Physics, students are introduced both to the idea that undergraduate research is important, and they meet faculty members with whom they might do that research. In Communication in Physics, many students present their research projects, and so other students “see their classmates doing these cool things,” explains Dr. Wahl, and want to get involved themselves.
Students aren’t given pre-defined job postings for research opportunities. Rather, they are specifically instructed to look at the websites of professors with whom they would like to work and to knock on their doors, encouraging independence. The department also holds a poster session for student researchers each year, with a monetary prize.  While faculty members do not receive formal incentives for mentoring undergraduate research, it is included on their annual evaluations. So far, all students wanting a research project are able to be accommodated, either within the department or at the on-campus National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

jamie2

(4) The introductory sequence has a SCALE-UP option. The introductory calculus-based sequence (comprised of students across several majors) can be taken in SCALE-UP format, with students working in small groups at tables in two three-hour periods per
week, or as a lecture/recitation/laboratory course. While all students are strongly encouraged to take the SCALE-UP version, physics majors are told to enroll in these classes and space is held for them. Within the larger SCALE-UP course, instructors form physics-major-only groups so that they can get to know one another. “Spending six hours a week together builds strong relationships,” explains Dr. Cottle, “and helps them to be more durable physics majors.” Unsurprisingly, results show that the physics knowledge
of students who complete the SCALE-UP course is superior to those who do not.

Class Panorama

(5) An intermediate-level problem solving course better prepares students for the upper division. Department faculty members noticed that physics majors often did not transition well from the introductory sequence to the majors-only classes, especially
Mechanics I. It wasn’t clear whether students weren’t motivated to do the work, or if students were poorly prepared for the level of rigor. “They assume that since things have been relatively easy for them so far, more advanced work would also be easy,” says Dr.
Blessing, who typically teaches the course.

So the department established Physics Problem Solving, which is typically taken after the introductory sequence and alongside Intermediate Modern Physics. Students are provided intensive practice in navigating multi-step problems and writing coherent
solutions through clear guidelines for presenting solutions, complicated homework problems, and weekly quizzes. The course prepares students mentally for the upper-level courses and helps them build important problem-solving skills.

To become accustomed to talking about physics, students discuss qualitative problems in small groups during class, write up their responses, and critique the responses of other groups. “The students think I’m really mean,” says Dr. Blessing, “but then they come
back later and thank me.” The course also has an important role in building student community: This is the first course since Discovering Physics where students gather with other physics majors.

To help build the cohort, instructors rotate student groups each week. “This course has turned into an excellent predictor of future success in the upper-level courses,” says Dr. Blessing. This course gives a much-needed boost to students who come in with weak problem-solving skills, but all students benefit. Indeed, there is such a strong correlation between grades in Physics Problem Solving and the upper-division courses that the former first became required, and then became a prerequisite for Mechanics I and
Mathematical Physics.

(6) Student community is supported through curriculum and a central student lounge. The undergraduate curriculum committee worked hard to establish a student study lounge with all the typical trappings: tables, computers, a sofa, a refrigerator, and a microwave.  Committee members also ensured the space was located centrally, across from the undergraduate administrative office.  Whereas that space might have been used for graduate students, the undergraduate curriculum committee argued that the graduate students are integrated into the department regardless of where they sit, but the same is not true of undergraduates. Having the undergraduate students visible has helped them to feel more comfortable stopping by to talk to faculty members, whom they know through Discovering Physics.

“You have to force students to interact,” says Dr. Blessing, who directs the undergraduate program. Student interaction is intentionally built in to the Discovering Physics and Physics Problem Solving courses, as well as the SCALE-UP version of the introductory course, where majors are clustered within a few groups within the large, mostly non majors course.

What is unique about Florida State University?

Florida State University is a large public university with a focus on undergraduate education as well as research. The proximity of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory provides many research opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students alike. Thus, other institutions may need to adapt some of the strategies in this case study to their situations. These factors do not mean that it is impossible for a different type of institution to use these strategies, but it is important to be aware of local strengths and barriers to change when adapting ideas from other institutions.

Posted in Uncategorized

Why do I teach in FSU’s Studio Physics Program? Because I am able to look in the mirror in the morning and know I’m doing the best thing for the students in my class.

2d_energy

Graduate teaching assistant Danielle Simmons analyzes video data for the trajectory of a tennis ball thrown by graduate teaching assistant Cole Hensley and caught by undergraduate learning assistant Ben Gibson while developing a new lab exercise on the conservation of energy in two dimensional projectile motion.  The lab is being developed in response to a recommendation made by recent FSU Physics B.S. grad and new Apopka High School physics teacher Cody Smith in his Honors Thesis on student learning of energy concepts in FSU’s studio physics classes.  The thesis was completed this past summer.  The lab will be taught for the first time during the week of October 15.

free_fallin

physics_today

A page from the magazine Physics Today featuring a scene from an FSU Studio Physics classroom.  The article, written by Jennifer Blue, Adrienne Traxler and Ximena Cid, argued that the SCALE-UP model used by the Studio Physics Program improve outcomes for underrepresented students including women and students of color. 

engage_to_excel

The cover of the 2012 PCAST report “Engage to Excel” on undergraduate STEM education, which called for reform in the way introductory STEM courses are taught at universities.

From the Executive Summary of “Engage to Excel”:

Economic projections point to a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade if the country is to retain its historical preeminence in science and technology. To meet this goal, the United States will need to increase the number of students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees by about 34% annually over current rates.

Currently the United States graduates about 300,000 bachelor and associate degrees in STEM fields annually. Fewer than 40% of students who enter college intending to major in a STEM field complete a STEM degree. Increasing the retention of STEM majors from 40% to 50% would, alone, generate three quarters of the targeted 1 million additional STEM degrees over the next decade. Many of those who abandon STEM majors perform well in their introductory courses and would make valuable additions to the STEM workforce. Retaining more students in STEM majors is the lowest-cost, fastest policy option to providing the STEM professionals that the nation needs for economic and societal well-being, and will not require expanding the number or size of introductory courses, which are constrained by space and resources at many colleges and universities.

The reasons students give for abandoning STEM majors point to the retention strategies that are needed. For example, high-performing students frequently cite uninspiring introductory courses as a factor in their choice to switch majors. And low-performing students with a high interest and aptitude in STEM careers often have difficulty with the math required in introductory STEM courses with little help provided by their universities. Moreover, many students, and particularly members of groups underrepresented in STEM fields, cite an unwelcoming atmosphere from faculty in STEM courses as a reason for their departure.

Better teaching methods are needed by university faculty to make courses more inspiring, provide more help to students facing mathematical challenges, and to create an atmosphere of a community of STEM learners. Traditional teaching methods have trained many STEM professionals, including most of the current STEM workforce. But a large and growing body of research indicates that STEM education can be substantially improved through a diversification of teaching methods. These data show that evidence-based teaching methods are more effective in reaching all students—especially the “underrepresented majority”—the women and members of minority groups who now constitute approximately 70% of college students while being underrepresented among students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees (approximately 45%). This underrepresented majority is a large potential source of STEM professionals.

Posted in Uncategorized

FSU’s DFW rate metric: What I told my Physics Department colleagues

FSU’s Physics Department faculty reacted strongly (and negatively) to the announcement by the university that academic departments and courses would be evaluated in part by the rate at which students earned grades of D or F or withdrew – the so-called “DFW rate”.  The analysis will include separate looks at gender and racial subgroups.  

I wrote to my Physics colleagues about this issue via the faculty e-mail list yesterday.  The e-mail is shown below.  I have added graphics to illustrate the points made in the e-mail.  They were not included in the original e-mail.

It’s worth noting that my department gets along quite well for a university academic department, and it hosts an undergraduate program that was designated to be one of five national models for the J-TUPP report written by a task force convened jointly by the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers.  The Studio Physics Program mentioned in the text of the letter was one of the distinguishing characteristics of the department’s undergraduate program cited in the J-TUPP report. 

If you are interested in a researcher’s view of the challenges of running studio-style courses in a research university physics department like ours, you can take a look at this physics education research paper written about a physics department and studio physics program that looks suspiciously like ours.   

Dear Colleagues:

The university’s implementation of a DFW rate metric without acknowledging the importance of disparities in high school preparation is a particular problem for our discipline and department.

While we will have to respond to the DFW metric as a department, we will also each have to make a personal decision about how to respond.

As a state, Florida does a poor job in preparing its high school students for college majors in fields like engineering and physics. The rate at which students in the state’s public high schools take physics is about half the national rate. The rate at which the state’s students take and pass the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus exams is only at the national average, even though the state offers financial incentives to schools and teachers for AP success that has made the state a national leader in AP social science courses.

And things are getting worse statewide. High school physics enrollments have declined 8% in the last three years, and chemistry enrollments are down by 9% in only the last two years. Last year, there were 31 public high schools of 1,000 or more students that did not offer physics.

AP exam results in Florida show that underrepresentation of women and black students in the engineering and physics pipeline doesn’t begin at the university level – it starts in the K-12 system.

degrees_physics Sheet1-1

degrees_physics Sheet1-3

degrees_physics Sheet1-4

In Studio PHY 2048C sections, we can see how these statewide trends are impacting our own classrooms through the pre-testing and survey data we take every semester. For the last several years, one-third of the students in my Studio PHY 2048C sections have not had a high school physics class. There are daunting disparities both by race and gender in our pre-testing results.

There is the problem. How do we choose to respond?

I’ve chosen to respond by teaching PHY 2048C and 2049C in the Studio format for the last decade. Physics Education Research results going back 30 years demonstrate that while overall learning gains for all students are higher in such classrooms than they are in traditional lecture classes, studio-style learning environments are particularly important for women and minority students. The secret sauce is the relationships and social interactions among students and between students and faculty that can be fostered in the Studio learning environment.

Class Panorama

Panoramic view of a Studio Physics class at FSU

Cottle-Capstick Lab Photos-6133

A graduate teaching assistant helps a group of students with analysis of data taken during a laboratory exercise in a Studio Physics class at FSU.

I’ve also chosen to respond by engaging K-12 schools in novel ways. Some of you might be aware of my work with the Bay County school district. Three years ago, the district had 100 high school students taking physics – the lowest rate for physics enrollments in the state among non-rural districts. This fall, the district has about 500 students taking physics. One school in particular, Mosley High School, has gone from six (yes, 6) students taking physics three years ago to about 200 this fall.

crowd during susan

A Future Physicists of Florida induction ceremony for Bay County middle school students held on FSU’s Panama City campus in November, 2017.  FSU Physics Professor and undergraduate program director Susan Blessing gave the scientific keynote address.

But that sort of outreach work doesn’t always go so smoothly. Last fall, a school board member in Collier County (where Naples is) asked me to provide a comparison of the district’s enrollment rates in chemistry, physics, precalculus and calculus with the rates from other districts in the state. The comparison didn’t show Collier in a favorable light. In response, the district’s superintendent said to the school board member who had contacted me, “You can tell Dr. Cottle that our engineering academy students don’t have time in their schedules for calculus and physics.” Shortly afterward, the Florida Department of Education awarded that superintendent the “2017 Data Driven Superintendent of the Year” designation.

There are some obvious “fixes” for whatever problems we are told we have with DFW rates. We can decide not to give any student a grade lower than C- under any circumstances. In PHY 2048C, we can do what our neighbors at the University of Florida do and list high school physics as a prerequisite (no, I don’t think it’s enforceable). But even if we implemented such a prerequisite (and were able to enforce it) it would disproportionately affect the women and minority students we should be working hard to include.

I will not choose either of those options.

Instead, I choose to continue to teach Studio PHY 2048C and 2049C with integrity and invest in those students all of the emotional energy I can muster (and some days it’s not much). I will continue to work with high schools and school districts that are willing to work with me to improve the preparation of their students for engineering and physics majors (and yes, our subject is important for health and computing majors as well).

As much as I am allowed, I will ignore the university’s DFW push because I know (and have tons of research evidence to back that up) I am doing the best thing both for my students in Studio and for the students in the State of Florida that haven’t arrived here yet.

I am grateful to those of you that have joined me in these efforts during the last ten years, and I hope more of you will choose to do so.

Our administration may have decided that the blindly calculated DFW rate is the acid test for our commitment to student learning. My own personal acid test is whether I can look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I’m doing the best I can for our students. I’m going to stick with that.

Paul Cottle

Posted in Uncategorized