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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Profs press to keep physics in curriculum



Physics Five of Florida's university physics professors have an urgent plea for Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith: Save our science.

The five, who all sat on the state's science standards committee, worry that three bills supported by the Florida Department of Education make no mention of physics in proposed high school graduation requirements.

"In the present budget environment, that puts the physics community at the edge of the K-12
table next to the art teachers waiting for the next budget cut to nudge us off," FSU physics professor Paul Cottle said in an e-mail to the Gradebook. "I'll admit this is a tougher sell than PreK for economically disadvantaged kids, to take only one example. But we believe it's critical."

So the group has implored Smith (himself a science teacher) in a letter sent this morning to reconsider his backing of CS/HB 543, HB 1293 and SB 2654:

"With the emphasis you profess on preparing students for college, it is disappointing in the extreme that you have chosen not to consult with university physics faculty – especially those of us who devoted so much time to the new science standards - in formulating these proposals. We hope you understand our concerns and appreciate our input on these important issues, and we look forward to working with you in the future."

The letter writers are Cottle, Florida Gulf Coast associate professor of physics Michael Fauerbach, FSU associate professor of physics Hon Kie Ng, FSU professor of physics Harrison B. Prosper and FSU professor of physics Horst Wahl.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:18am]


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