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Carlos Bertulani, Texas A&M University-Commerce
To handle issues related to physics education in the nation, the APS has created committees and forums. The society has also hired personnel to advance best practices in physics education and to provide resources and guidance to students, educators, and institutions. Through these organizations, and also by promoting policies regarding the importance of physics education, APS acts in the best interests of American society. Two of these organizations, the Committee on Education (COE) and the Forum on Education (FEd) possess nearly complementary roles.
The COE implements programs, suggests studies, and provides oversight for APS programs that improve physics learning. COE consists of 12 members: the chair, past chair, and chair elect of the Forum on Education plus nine persons selected by the Committee on Committees and appointed by the president elect to staggered three-year terms. Its members meet twice a year for a face-to-face meeting, usually at the APS headquarters in College Park. COE also organizes a teleconference with its members twice a year. The meetings and conference calls take into account different opinions and ideas on pending tasks and actions on the COE agenda. Common items on the COE agenda include the development and implementation of education policies and the review of applications for the COE-sponsored Award for Improving Undergraduate Education. The most recent meeting occurred on September 26, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona. This meeting focused on how to implement best practices in physics education.
COE has three subcommittees: K-12 education, undergraduate education, and graduate education. Each subcommittee works separately on their specific area, reviews applications for awards, and makes an assessment of education statistics and of new federal, state, and local education policies. For more on the COE please check out their web page.