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Article: 2 in 5 High Schools Don't Offer Physics

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The bolded is a huge part of why funding is so paltry for more advanced students, which in turn drives down overall achievement, which in turn means US students perform poorly worldwide.  But interestingly, I don't see anyone clamoring to change this formula.  Whiny parents who insist on an A for their average little darling are close behind in the dumbing down of schools. 

 

The findings from PISA would agree with you (w/r/t) the bolded. But to come to the conclusion that distribution of funding(most money goes to bottom 10%) in public schools drives down overall achievement is debatable. 

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FWIW, before I'm accused of not being sympathetic to the plight of gifted children+their parents; I have an intellectually advanced child whose needs are not served even in 100%(non-state funded) private schools in my country of residence. I know and understand the frustration of being the statistical intellectual minority. But, my daughter is fortunate that she has resources at her disposal. I worry about the intellectually advanced underprivileged and first-generation school students who have no recourse except inferior public education.  :sad:

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I worry about the intellectually advanced underprivileged and first-generation school students who have no recourse except inferior public education.  :sad:

 

One small but very inspiring step. So much can be done by just caring enough.

 

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I must admit that I haven't read through every post. I scanned.

 

In our neck of the woods districts have a really tough time finding a certified physics teacher. Sometimes it's nearly impossible. That's the reason they don't offer the course. 

 

It would be MUCH easier to find a qualified teacher. But they need a certified one. Not the same thing. For example, I would suspect that our very qualified Regentrude hasn't bothered to get her high school teaching certification. (Why would she?) No one - not even the local principal - would doubt that she would be an amazing high school physics teacher. After all, she KNOWS what kids need to succeed in college! However, the principal CAN NOT hire her to teach the course without the high school certification. And if the principal can't find someone with the certification, the school doesn't offer the course.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

 

 

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I must admit that I haven't read through every post. I scanned.

 

In our neck of the woods districts have a really tough time finding a certified physics teacher. Sometimes it's nearly impossible. That's the reason they don't offer the course.

 

It would be MUCH easier to find a qualified teacher. But they need a certified one. Not the same thing. For example, I would suspect that our very qualified Regentrude hasn't bothered to get her high school teaching certification. (Why would she?) No one - not even the local principal - would doubt that she would be an amazing high school physics teacher. After all, she KNOWS what kids need to succeed in college! However, the principal CAN NOT hire her to teach the course without the high school certification. And if the principal can't find someone with the certification, the school doesn't offer the course.

 

Peace,

Janice

This is the exact reason for Basis' success in the charter ranks. No such limitations.

 

The reason the charter doesn't open campuses in other states is mainly because of such limitations imposed by the states.

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This is the exact reason for Basis' success in the charter ranks. No such limitations.

 

The reason the charter doesn't open campuses in other states is mainly because of such limitations imposed by the states.

Community college teachers do not need teaching credentials. My oldest former public school 3rd grade teacher switch to teaching math at community college because of the flexibility. My neighbor teach at a private high school for similar reasons.

 

For engineers or scientists switching careers to teaching community colleges are more tempting than high school. In between classes, they can be with their kids on campus. My friend's work from home husband just bring their toddler and have lunch there sometimes.

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Community college teachers do not need teaching credentials. My oldest former public school 3rd grade teacher switch to teaching math at community college because of the flexibility. My neighbor teach at a private high school for similar reasons.

 

For engineers or scientists switching careers to teaching community colleges are more tempting than high school. In between classes, they can be with their kids on campus. My friend's work from home husband just bring their toddler and have lunch there sometimes.

Wait, really? Is that just true for STEM subjects?

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Wait, really? Is that just true for STEM subjects?

For California, don't know about other states.

 

"For academic disciplines, the minimum qualifications now are a masters’ degree in the discipline of the assignment; or a bachelor’s degree in the discipline of the assignment and a master’s degree in a reasonably related discipline. A statewide “disciplines list†defines the degrees that are considered to be reasonably related. Assignments in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts generally fall into this category, as do a number of technical disciplines, such as engineering, home economics, nursing, dietetics, accounting, and business management. "

 

"For disciplines in which a master’s degree is not generally expected or available, the minimum qualifications are a bachelor’s degree (with any major) and two years of experience in the occupational area of the assignment. Assignments that fall into this category are generally in technical, trade, or industrial fields. Nearly 150 such disciplines have been identified in a statewide list.Examples include:

 

Administration of Justice

Interior Design

Auto Mechanics

Manufacturing Technology

Carpentry

Office Technologies

Dental Technology

Real Estate

Electronics

Sign Language

Fire Technology

Telecommunication Technology

Graphic Arts

Welding"

http://extranet.cccco.edu/Divisions/AcademicAffairs/InstructionalProgramsandServicesUnit/MinimumQualifications.aspx

Edited by Arcadia
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In our area, there is a lot of vocal opposition to charters coming from the regular district teacher organizations on the issue of teaching (education) credentials or lack thereof.  I'm not sure those folks realize how lacking in value teaching credentials may be to some parents, at least in comparison to the value of subject degrees.

Edited by wapiti
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Wait, really? Is that just true for STEM subjects?

 

Everybody I know who teaches community college has a masters or PhD in their subject, STEM or humanities. Nobody has educaton degrees or certifications.

 

 

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Community college teachers do not need teaching credentials. My oldest former public school 3rd grade teacher switch to teaching math at community college because of the flexibility. My neighbor teach at a private high school for similar reasons.

 

For engineers or scientists switching careers to teaching community colleges are more tempting than high school. In between classes, they can be with their kids on campus. My friend's work from home husband just bring their toddler and have lunch there sometimes.

I wonder if that is the reasoning behind Utah's decision to hire teacher's with bachelor's degrees but lacking licensing? 

 

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/utah-schools-can-hire-teachers-without-teaching-license/article_1852b50e-995d-5d0c-8946-b5f319a90696.html

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I wonder if that is the reasoning behind Utah's decision to hire teacher's with bachelor's degrees but lacking licensing? 

 

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/utah-schools-can-hire-teachers-without-teaching-license/article_1852b50e-995d-5d0c-8946-b5f319a90696.html

 

From the liked article:

"critics say teachers need experience to be effective with students and the policy will burden other teachers."

 

Of course teachers need experience. That is true for certified teachers as well; whatever student teaching they do during their education is not sufficient to gain actual experience. Beginning certified teachers should be mentored as well.

But most importantly, techers need subject expertise. No amount of experience is going to makie up for a lack of conceptual math understanding or foeign language fluency. The experience will come on its own. The subject expertise won't.

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I must admit that I haven't read through every post. I scanned.

 

In our neck of the woods districts have a really tough time finding a certified physics teacher. Sometimes it's nearly impossible. That's the reason they don't offer the course.

 

It would be MUCH easier to find a qualified teacher. But they need a certified one. Not the same thing. For example, I would suspect that our very qualified Regentrude hasn't bothered to get her high school teaching certification. (Why would she?) No one - not even the local principal - would doubt that she would be an amazing high school physics teacher. After all, she KNOWS what kids need to succeed in college! However, the principal CAN NOT hire her to teach the course without the high school certification. And if the principal can't find someone with the certification, the school doesn't offer the course.

 

Peace,

Janice

Apparently certified is not required in our area. Ds took AP physics last year at the local hs, the first year it has ever been offered. (They hadn't offered regular physics either.) The teacher had a math degree and some courses in physics. Before he came to the school 2 years ago, they didn't have anyone who could teach it even without needing certification.

 

In any case, the class was a bust. They only covered half the material required. No one scored above a 2 on the AP exam, including ds who had a 100 grade for the year.

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In Virginia and New York, this is true for all disciplines. But you do have to have at least a masters degree to teach at local community colleges, unless you are just teaching labs or recitations.

 

Wait, really? Is that just true for STEM subjects?

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I wonder if that is the reasoning behind Utah's decision to hire teacher's with bachelor's degrees but lacking licensing?

 

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/education/precollegiate/utah-schools-can-hire-teachers-without-teaching-license/article_1852b50e-995d-5d0c-8946-b5f319a90696.html

My dad was a mentor teacher before he retired. Even new credentialed teachers need mentoring, the practicum during teacher training is just insufficient.

 

I do think someone with subject expertise and getting a provisional license to teach with mentor oversight is better than a math or science phobic credentialed teacher.

 

My oldest has one such teacher in K-8 public school, luckily for him the teacher trade Science class for English class with another teacher who enjoys Science, and his teacher told me to teach my own kid math because she can't.

 

I had taught as a temp decades ago physical geography to a class of 7th graders at a Christian school with no teaching credentials but had passed earthquake engineering and had a high enough GMAT score at that time. The kids say I wasn't worse than their regular teacher who was on maternity leave and I am honestly not a good classroom teacher.

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Apparently certified is not required in our area. Ds took AP physics last year at the local hs, the first year it has ever been offered. (They hadn't offered regular physics either.) The teacher had a math degree and some courses in physics. Before he came to the school 2 years ago, they didn't have anyone who could teach it even without needing certification.

 

In any case, the class was a bust. They only covered half the material required. No one scored above a 2 on the AP exam, including ds who had a 100 grade for the year.

It would have been very difficult for an unmentored, untrained person to teach AP Physics last year as the course had just been changed to be more conceptual, so little support material available. Its not like the cookbook high school level physics at all. Ds took AP Physics 1 from an onliine provider. It was just like college in the expectation of demonstrating understanding. His high school physics teacher could teach the course, as he is a career changer (from mechanical engineering)...but he would have only expected those afterschooled with a rigorous math program to score a 3 or better due to lack of a firm foundation in algebra and trig plus lack of classroom time to make up for same (NY has a post-Labor Day start). A 2 is good for where this teacher came from, and it sure beats sitting in study hall.

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It would have been very difficult for an unmentored, untrained person to teach AP Physics last year as the course had just been changed to be more conceptual, so little support material available. Its not like the cookbook high school level physics at all. Ds took AP Physics 1 from an onliine provider. It was just like college in the expectation of demonstrating understanding. His high school physics teacher could teach the course, as he is a career changer (from mechanical engineering)...but he would have only expected those afterschooled with a rigorous math program to score a 3 or better due to lack of a firm foundation in algebra and trig plus lack of classroom time to make up for same (NY has a post-Labor Day start). A 2 is good for where this teacher came from, and it sure beats sitting in study hall.

I am puzzled as to why the school decided to offer AP physics only, considering the school's background and available staff. I suspect it may be a "See, we offer this many AP classes" type decision.

 

Only 1 or 2 students made a 2, the rest made 1's. Most of the students were taking precalculus concurrently.

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I am puzzled as to why the school decided to offer AP physics only, considering the school's background and available staff. I suspect it may be a "See, we offer this many AP classes" type decision.

There is a nationwide push for availability of AP class and increasing the number of underrepresented minorities taking AP class.

 

E.g.

LA Times: This high school makes every student take AP classes

http://www.latimes.com/local/education/lausd/la-me-edu-a-high-school-where-every-student-takes-ap-classes-20150925-htmlstory.html

New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: De Blasio’s ‘AP for All†push will offer city high schools new Advanced Placement courses

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/ap-push-offer-city-high-schools-new-ap-courses-article-1.2670164

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There is a nationwide push for availability of AP class and increasing the number of underrepresented minorities taking AP class.

 

E.g.

LA Times: This high school makes every student take AP classes

http://www.latimes.com/local/education/lausd/la-me-edu-a-high-school-where-every-student-takes-ap-classes-20150925-htmlstory.html

New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: De Blasio’s ‘AP for All†push will offer city high schools new Advanced Placement courses

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/ap-push-offer-city-high-schools-new-ap-courses-article-1.2670164

lower scores on the way!

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I am puzzled as to why the school decided to offer AP physics only, considering the school's background and available staff. I suspect it may be a "See, we offer this many AP classes" type decision.

 

Only 1 or 2 students made a 2, the rest made 1's. Most of the students were taking precalculus concurrently.

I agree in this situation a regular full HS Physics class (such as NYS Regents Physics) would have been a better choice for the school.

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Apparently certified is not required in our area. Ds took AP physics last year at the local hs, the first year it has ever been offered. (They hadn't offered regular physics either.) The teacher had a math degree and some courses in physics. Before he came to the school 2 years ago, they didn't have anyone who could teach it even without needing certification.

 

In any case, the class was a bust. They only covered half the material required. No one scored above a 2 on the AP exam, including ds who had a 100 grade for the year.

Certification or not had nothing to do with that outcome. Certification does not mean subject competency. 

 

Actually I feel sorry for the teacher because currently AP Physics 1 has a reputation as a hard exam considering it is Algebra based Physics.

The teachers who are really into getting it right AP-wise might have 3 labs a week because that is the key focus.  

 

They even give you all the needed formulas on a reference sheet.

 

If your student learned something then don't worry about the AP score (never report it).

Edited by MarkT
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lower scores on the way!

Depends on who is now allowed to take the course and who is allowed to teach. There are always more qualified students than honors/accel seats. My child in that situation had no trouble scoring a 4 on his APs coming out of gen ed...being a reader, and having afterschooled math as many do, it came down to how competent his teacher was, as the prep books that we used could not make up for bad teaching. Edited by Heigh Ho

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There is a nationwide push for availability of AP class and increasing the number of underrepresented minorities taking AP class.

 

E.g.

LA Times: This high school makes every student take AP classes

http://www.latimes.com/local/education/lausd/la-me-edu-a-high-school-where-every-student-takes-ap-classes-20150925-htmlstory.html

New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: De Blasio’s ‘AP for All†push will offer city high schools new Advanced Placement courses

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/ap-push-offer-city-high-schools-new-ap-courses-article-1.2670164

I wonder if this is a result of the recent decline in ACT scores and the panic over so many not being "college-ready." I'm a little suspicious.

 

The LA Times article states how many took the tests but not the average scores or a comparison from previous years scores. And I don't like the line that "AP classes are practically an application requirement for many colleges."

 

However, I hope that kids who may not have thought they could take an AP class because of cost find themselves motivated to do well.

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I wonder if this is a result of the recent decline in ACT scores and the panic over so many not being "college-ready." I'm a little suspicious

One of the reason for the push for availabilty of AP classes is the achievement gap. My district doesn't even make ACT or SAT compulsory. They just tell the parents to DIY on the high schools' website. So it is up to parents to register their kids online for the tests.

 

There are a few articles I read. Below is from the first one I found.

 

"Nationwide, admissions officers at selective colleges look for students who have challenged themselves academically. But not all students get the chance to build a stellar transcript. Black, Hispanic, and Native American students are less likely to attend high schools that offer advanced courses, such as physics and calculus, and they're less likely to participate in those courses when they are offered."

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/the-race-gap-in-high-school-honors-classes/431751/

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Good Morning,

 

I understand that it's frustrating when all students don't have access to the same education; however, making rules that says they will doesn't mean that they will.

 

Requiring schools to offer a class seems like a good legislative decision until you take a minute to think about why the class isn't already being offered. For example, in his 2014 state of the state speech, the NJ governor explained that only three students in the Camden district graduated college-ready (combined SAT score of 1550+/2400) in 2013. THREE. There are about 15,000 kids in the Camden system. Insisting that the district offer AP classes makes no sense. However, if the governor wants to make it LOOK like we are doing more to make kids college-ready, then you can pass a law that says you have to offer the class. 

 

You can't PULL water uphill. You can pump it. Or you can build a pipe that allows it to flow downhill. But you can't just GRAB it and try to pull it uphill. It WILL slip through your fingers. 

 

If you pass a law, everyone involved will be sighing and rolling their eyes, but they will do what they are paid to do. They will offer the class. And will it help these kids? Maybe or maybe not. From a college admissions standpoint, what chance do those three kids have of getting a 4/5 on an AP physics exam? After all, they were offered the class, right? Equal opportunity. EVEN THOUGH IT ISN'T REALLY. However, now you have just given colleges an excuse to pass over these kids. They clearly aren't as well prepared as other kids. Now you have numerical proof!  And no one can argue that they haven't been given the same opportunity. EVEN THOUGH IT ISN'T!! 

 

Maybe that's what this is about in the end. 

 

Sigh...

Edited by Janice in NJ
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I am puzzled as to why the school decided to offer AP physics only, considering the school's background and available staff. I suspect it may be a "See, we offer this many AP classes" type decision.

 

Only 1 or 2 students made a 2, the rest made 1's. Most of the students were taking precalculus concurrently.

The decision may be based on demographics. If they figure only college prep is going to take Physics, they can offer AP, DE, or Honors without excluding anyone...no need to offer gen ed.

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