Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Physics First

Not much good to say about Providence's scores on the science NECAP's, which came out today (RI loves those off-peak testing discounts, apparently). On the bright side, it is impossible for scores at several PPSD high schools to go lower!

I did note this quote though:

(Top RI scorer) Portsmouth High was also acknowledged for its participation in the Physics First program (a new curriculum based on guided inquiry with a focus on atomic and molecular physics) and its involvement in the RI-TEST program (which provides educators with professional development in using technology-enhanced investigations) through a National Science Foundation grant.

Providence started phasing in Physics first in 2006. I've been told that the Mount Pleasant High School (i.e., the most neglected big one at this point) science department in particular bought in and made impressive gains in pass rates in their freshman science course. Then Brady came in 2008(?) and made everyone switch back to Bio first. Needless to say, Mt. Pleasant's presentation of their data fell on deaf ears.

Julia Steiny in 2009:

Mt. Pleasant High School was one of the six early adopters, but the Providence School Department recently withdrew from the project. Supt. Thomas Brady explained that the district is developing a K-12 curriculum that will be standardized across schools. The curriculum developers believed that Physics First is less well suited for preparing Providence students for the state’s NECAP tests than the traditional sequence.

That analysis isn't holding up so well.

"A long memory is the most radical idea in America." --Caire Sparks.

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