AP math

This program could skyrocket AP scores

The number of students achieving qualifying scores in AP math and science increased more than 500 percent for one school.

Participating in a specific college readiness program could cause a massive increase in qualifying Advanced Placement (AP) scores for students.

Schools that complete the first year of the National Math and Science Initiative’s College Readiness Program see the number of qualifying Advanced Placement scores in math, science and English increase by an average of 67 percent, based on data from the College Board.

The increase at NMSI-supported schools is more than 10 times the average annual increase.

The program also is expanding its access to underrepresented student populations. NMSI’s three-year College Readiness Program has expanded access to rigorous AP classes in more than 1,000 schools across 34 states.

Among African-American and Hispanic students, the average increase in the number of qualifying scores is more than six times the national average, and for female students the increase is 10 times the national average.

(Next page: The impact NMSI had on 4 schools’ AP scores)

An AP exam score of 3 or higher (on a 5-point scale) demonstrates mastery of college-level coursework and qualifies students for course credit at the majority U.S. colleges and universities.

Students who master AP courses in high school are better equipped to succeed in post-secondary coursework and are three times more likely to graduate from college.

At West Allegheny High School in Imperial, Pa., the number of AP qualifying scores in math and science went up from 16 in 2015 to 103 in 2016 — more than 500 percent. That was the greatest percent increase in the country for those subjects.

“Based on these first-year results after partnering with NMSI’s College Readiness Program, I think it’s fair to say that the program has contributed significantly to our unprecedented results,” said Dr. Jerri Lippert, the district’s superintendent. “The fact that our school ranked first in the nation in percent increase in math and science qualifying scores is a source of great pride for us. Our teachers are to be commended for their extraordinary efforts. And our students are to be celebrated for their exceptional results. It confirms that they will be well-prepared for what lies ahead.”

Among other NMSI partner schools:
• For the second consecutive year, the School of Science and Engineering in Dallas ranked number one in the country for the number of AP qualifying scores earned (396) by African-American and Hispanic students in math and science.
• IDEA Frontier College Preparatory in Brownsville, Texas, had the greatest percentage increase nationwide–304 percent–in math and science qualifying scores among African-American and Hispanic students.
• At Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Ariz., which serves a high proportion of military-connected students, the number of AP qualifying scores on math, science and English exams increased from 33 to 106, 221 percent.

“NMSI’s College Readiness Program is a national model for improving both AP access and success, particularly for traditionally underrepresented students,” said David Coleman, president and CEO of the College Board. “When teachers and schools receive direct support to help students thrive in AP, more students realize their potential. Proven programs like NMSI’s are ensuring that more students have the opportunities, resources and skills they need to excel academically and be better prepared for challenges of college and the workforce.”

Rigorous coursework like AP is one of the most valuable tools for preparing students for the demands of college and the workplace. Through the three-year CRP, NMSI works with schools across regions and demographic populations to provide extensive subject-specific training for teachers, expert-led study sessions for students and equipment and supplies to support rigorous curricula.

“From California to Mississippi, students and teachers again are demonstrating what’s possible when we empower school communities to raise the bar for academic success,” said NMSI CEO Matthew Randazzo. “Most important, thousands of additional students across the country are better prepared for college and careers and more confident in what they can achieve.”

NMSI’s program expanded into nearly 200 additional schools across the country this school year, including schools in nine districts that are supported by a nearly $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) program.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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