An estimated 27 000 teachers at US high schools taught at least one physics course in the 2012–13 academic year. That’s remained flat in recent years, but is up 10 000 from 25 years earlier.

The education level of high school physics teachers has inched up in that time. In 1987, 37% had a bachelor’s as their highest degree, compared with 31% in 2013, but for master’s and PhD degrees those numbers grew, from 59% to 63% and 4% to 6%, respectively. Among the 27 000 teachers, about 8000 hold a degree in physics or physics education and most of the rest hold a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics or in a related education field. The proportion of female high school physics teachers has grown steadily, from 23% in 1987 to 37% in 2013.

Those and other data were collected by the Statistical Research Center of the American...

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