TRENTON, N.J., March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL) today announced the results of an NJCTL-sponsored Hanover Research Report that analyzed trends in students' Advanced Placement (AP) physics exam performance between 2009 and 2018. The report considers mean scores, participation scores, and total scores on all AP physics exams offered over the span, both throughout New Jersey as well as all states nation-wide. These exams include AP Physics B, which was offered between 2009 and 2014, AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2, which have been offered since 2015, as well as AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism and AP Physics C: Mechanics, both of which have been offered throughout the timeframe included in the study.
New Jersey ranked #1 in terms of total score on overall AP Physics performance every year since 2015. Total score is defined as the mean score times the number of test-takers, divided by the number of individuals aged 15 to 19 in each state. Prior to 2015, New Jersey consistently ranked among the top four states in terms of total score for overall AP physics performance. The study uses calculated total score as the primary measure of performance, rewarding states both for having more students take the exams and for students getting higher scores on them. Simple mean scores often correlate negatively with participation rates if only the highest-performing students take the exams.
New Jersey also achieved the second-highest growth score from 2009 – 2018, second only to Illinois. Growth score is calculated as the change in total score over the period.
Additionally, New Jersey consistently ranked among the top six states in participation in AP Physics exams from 2009 - 2018, ranking second highest every year since 2015.
Both student participation and test results in AP Physics can be seen as objective indicators of how schools are trending over time in preparing students for advanced study in physics, a fundamental course in preparing students for a STEM career.
In 2009, NJCTL set out to dramatically increase the number of physics teachers in New Jersey so that many more students would have access to further study in the sciences, as well as to provide substantially greater access for all students to AP-level physics.
Since then, 223 teachers have completed NJCTL in-service training to become physics teachers, significantly increasing the number of teachers of this subject in NJ.
NJCTL believes that increasing the number of qualified teachers in physics, chemistry and mathematics will increase both participation and performance in the outcomes of NJ students.
A previous study about NJ and national student achievement in physics and chemistry SATs supports that hypothesis. The results showed New Jersey has consistently ranked among the top states in terms of total score performance on the SAT II Physics exam. The Hanover Research Report introduced today further indicates that by creating a significant number of additional effective physics teachers, student achievement in physics is surging forward at the highest levels.
"This report shows that Garden State students continue to excel in STEM fields that are integral to our growing innovation economy," said Governor Murphy. "I'm extremely proud that New Jersey students ranked first in the nation for their total score on AP Physics exams. I am committed to continuing our efforts to promote STEM education and build a skilled workforce for the 21st-century economy."
Dr. Robert (Bob) Goodman, Executive Director of the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning explained, "It is particularly rewarding to see the growing number of high school students taking AP Physics tests. Physics is a fundamental building block for a strong understanding of the basic principles of mathematics, engineering and many scientific fields.
Dr. Goodman continued, "At the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning, we are proud to support New Jersey's leadership role in spearheading growth in access to effective STEM instruction, as well as strong growth throughout the country."
Leila Nuland, Managing K-12 Research Director at Hanover Research said, "These AP physics results support NJCTL's long-held theory of change that increased teacher training and certification in the sciences engenders improved student participation and outcomes. The data in this study suggest merit in this hypothesis."
New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning
The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides a simple, scalable solution to the STEM crisis in education.
An independent organization founded by the New Jersey Education Association in 2007, NJCTL's mission is to empower teachers to transform schools, so that all children have access to a high-quality education.
The organization believes the best way to improve education is to invest in teachers by driving changes that make their work simpler, more effective, and less stressful. This belief has propelled NJCTL to create a pathway for teachers of every academic background to efficiently learn and effectively teach science and mathematics. Today, NJCTL is the #1 producer of physics teachers in the United States, as well as a leading producer of chemistry teachers.
NJCTL also offers comprehensive free, editable course materials for a full range of K-13 subjects in science and mathematics. These materials are being used in New Jersey, across all fifty states, and in 185 countries.
Hanover Research is a global market research and analytics firm that delivers market intelligence through a unique, fixed-fee model to more than 1,000 clients. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Hanover employs high-caliber market researchers, analysts, and account executives to provide a service that is revolutionary in its combination of flexibility and affordability. Hanover was named a Top 50 Market Research Firm by the American Marketing Association in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, and has also been twice named a Washington Business Journal Fastest Growing Company. To learn more about Hanover Research, visit http://www.hanoverresearch.com.
SOURCE The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning