High school physics is the gateway to STEM careers. Nationally there are not enough physics teachers to ensure that every high school student has access to a quality physics teachers. In a recent Hechinger report, only 39% of high school schools could have taken a physics class in this country.
But here is the most amazing thing about the article – 80% of Texas students can take Physics. 80%
Why? Because Texas has enough physics teachers because Texas has the most robust alternative certification system in the country. Texas Teachers recruits, trains and places a thousands of STEM teachers for Texas schools.
So – in order to have STEM majors, you have to offer physics classes in high school. In order to offer physics classes, you have to have enough physics teachers. AND to have enough physics teachers you have to recruit career changers through alternative teacher certification programs.
The stark difference in Texas and the nation is pretty amazing – 80% versus 39%.