New Collegiate Partnerships with Central High School Advances Student Learning Opportunites

Phenix City, Ala.— In the upcoming school year, high school students will have a selection of dual enrollment courses offered by new collegiate partnerships. Phenix City Schools partners with five colleges for the 2022 to 2023 school year: Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Auburn University, University of Alabama, Troy University, and Alabama State University.

These partnerships create additional learning opportunities for students interested in getting a headstart on earning college credits and seeking more challenging academic experiences. Some of these options are also open to Central Freshman Academy. Along with the new dual enrollment courses, students can enroll in new Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Central High School now offers 12 AP courses, such as AP World History, AP Environmental Science, and AP Macroeconomics. Teachers new to teaching AP courses will be AP-trained and receive three Continuing Education Units (CEU) or 30 hours of professional learning credits.

These new courses and learning avenues to Central High School’s curriculum joins a long list of classes and extracurricular activities. Central High School currently offers 14 Career and Technical Education classes in its CTE Academy and over 40 clubs and organizations. …Read More

Major equity gaps persist in access to AP science learning

Despite students saying that STEM courses are their favorite subject areas and that they aspire to go to college, Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds continue to be excluded from crucial learning opportunities available through AP STEM courses, according to a new report from Education Trust and Equity Opportunity Schools, Shut Out: Why Black and Latino Students are Under-Enrolled in AP STEM Courses.

This new research highlights that a positive and inviting school climate plays an important role in getting more Black and Latino students in advanced courses that would nurture their aspirations and interests and position them to thrive in college and future careers.

“Students who are ready and eager to take advanced placement courses at their schools shouldn’t be shut out because seats are not available or they don’t feel welcomed in these courses,” said Dr. Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at The Education Trust. “District and school leaders must lead efforts to build more welcoming and inclusive learning environments that ensure students who are interested in STEM professions are able to enroll and succeed in AP STEM courses.”…Read More

5 steps to building a robust online CTE program

For more than 16 years, my goal has been to help students discover their passions and see their potential through career and technical education (CTE). From when I taught math and programming in a brick-and-mortar school, to creating and designing CTE courses, to teaching AP computer science and the foundations of programming at Florida Virtual School (FLVS), to now researching, developing, and maintaining the FLVS CTE program alongside my incredible colleagues, CTE has never been more important to me. 

You may be asking yourself, why are you so passionate about CTE? The short answer is that during my teaching career, I quickly learned that some students do not want to go to college. Rather than forcing them to do something that their skills sets, talents, and desires don’t align with, I encouraged them to explore their passions to see if they could turn it into a career later in life. All students deserve the opportunity to do what they love, and it’s our jobs, as educators, to help them get there. 

Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Education, eight years after their expected graduation date, students who focused on career and technical education courses in high school had higher median annual earnings than students who did not. There are also 30 million jobs in the United States that do not require a bachelor’s degree that pay median earnings of $55,000 or more, further highlighting how CTE programs can set students up for success. …Read More

Blackbird Announces First-ever Purpose-built Middle School Coding Education Platform

Created to Address the “Middle School Gap” – Blackbird Teaches Real-world Computer Science Skills, Aligned to Educational Standards

PORTLAND, April 14, 2021 – Blackbird, creators of the world’s first educational version of JavaScript, today announced the official launch of the Blackbird education platform. Successfully trialed in middle schools and coding academies throughout the country, Blackbird’s offering was built from the ground up to address the middle school gap in coding education – in a platform that can be administered by non-technical and technically minded teachers, instructors and parents. Based around Blackbird’s proprietary educational version of JavaScript, Blackbird provides students, even those who have not been drawn to STEM or coding, with an understanding and aptitude in one of the most commonly used programming languages on earth.

“Before Blackbird there were no tools available to bridge the expanse between elementary school block-based introductions to coding, and high school’s more advanced text-based coding, leading to frustration and a well-documented drop-off in computer science when students enter high school,” said Ness Blackbird, cofounder of Blackbird. “Based around our unique educational version of JavaScript, Blackbird enables middle school students to learn real-world, applicable coding skills in a platform that can be administered and led by even non-technical teachers and educators.”…Read More

The College Board Partners with PBLWorks to Train Teachers for New AP Courses Rooted in Project Based Learning

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for Project Based Learning (PBL), has partnered with the College Board to offer a new PBL-based professional development program for Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Environmental Science and U.S Government and Politics. The new courses use a Project Based Learning method of teaching and are based on powerful new breakthrough research just released by the Center for Economic and Social Research at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, that found PBL coupled with high-quality professional development significantly improves student performance when compared to students in non-PBL classrooms.

Specifically, the research demonstrated that high school students in AP classes who engaged in hands-on, inquiry-based projects with real-world applications performed higher than their peers on AP U.S. Government and Politics and AP Environmental Science exams. In year one of a randomized controlled trial in five U.S. cities they scored 8 percentage points higher, and in year two of the study they scored 10 percentage points higher – and they were more likely to earn a qualifying score of 3 or above which could increase their chance of receiving college credit and saving on tuition.

“We’ve seen the impact of PBL firsthand in our work with schools and now this research provides proof of its impact on students who are taking AP classes,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks, “That’s why we’ve partnered with the College Board to support new project-based AP courses that are relevant, authentic, and engaging.”…Read More

Vernier Software & Technology Launches New Wireless Probe for AP and College-Level Chemistry

Ideal for Advanced Placement® (AP) Chemistry and college-level general chemistry, the affordable and durable Go Direct Platinum-Cell Conductivity Probe from Vernier Software & Technology helps students determine a solution’s conductivity or the total ion concentration with high accuracy and chemical compatibility.

“Our new probe has an epoxy body and platinum-cell sensing element that notably provides greater chemical compatibility. This probe enables students to measure the conductivity of strong acids, strong bases, and non-aqueous solutions during experiments without any risk of damaging the sensor,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “The durable Go Direct Platinum-Cell Conductivity Probe automatically adjusts its conductivity range in response to the concentration of the given solution to provide students with the most accurate readings possible.”

Go Direct Platinum-Cell Conductivity features a wide 0 to 20,000 μS/cm range that ensures optimal precision during various experiments, such as exploring the base hydrolysis of ethyl acetate under various conditions and other common environmental tests of aquatic samples.…Read More

UWorld Launches New Tools to Support Educators in Fostering AP® Success

UWorld, the worldwide leader in online learning to prepare for high-stakes exams, today announced the launch of AP® (Advanced Placement®) Learning Tools, a new College Readiness solution to help educators enhance instruction, improve student performance, and effectively prepare for AP exams. The tools save teachers time while enabling students to achieve their academic goals.

Forty percent of students who take AP exams only earn a score of 1 or 2, but studies show that students who score a 3 or higher are more likely to be successful in college and graduate. AP Learning Tools uses College Board®-level questions and clear, concise answer explanations to help students understand why they got an answer wrong, retain information, develop critical thinking skills, and deepen subject-area knowledge.

“Some 1.24 million students took an AP exam in 2019, and that number is predicted to grow year-over-year—and yet educators have little access to AP instruction and exam prep resources that are particularly effective in distance and hybrid learning environments,” said Chandra S. Pemmasani, M.D., UWorld’s founder and CEO. “With our AP Learning Tools, educators have access to progress and performance tracking that helps them identify gaps, modify instructional approaches, and support students—all from their computer.”

All of UWorld’s College Readiness solutions are developed using research-based educational strategies that support instruction, improve engagement, and build critical-thinking skills so that students have the knowledge and confidence to succeed. The answer choices used in AP Learning Tools are updated weekly to ensure alignment to current AP courses and exams. An easy-to-use assignment tool allows educators to customize assignments and integrate content into lessons. Plus, reporting tools provide meaningful insight into student AP performance at the classroom, school and district level.…Read More

VHS Learning and NMSI Program Enables Students to Take AP Courses

VHS Learning’s new partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) has helped over 100 students from rural schools take Advanced Placement courses that would have been unavailable to them. The partnership enabled the schools to enroll the students in VHS Learning’s AP courses via a NMSI grant program. Students also received guidance from NMSI coaches. Schools will receive grants to cover all enrollment costs and student access to laptops, as necessary.

The students came from 15 parochial and public schools in Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont and Pennsylvania. The program allowed them to enroll in the following courses:

AP Statistics
AP Biology
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Calculus BC
AP Chemistry
AP English Literature and Composition
AP English Language and Composition
AP Physics 1…Read More

BIOZONE Launches Comprehensive Environmental Science Program

BIOZONE has just published an exciting new AP Environmental Science title (in print and eBook) dedicated to addressing the College Board’s new APES Course & Exam Description (2019).
Using engaging, current, and relevant case studies, this includes activities on:

  • COVID-19 pandemic (snapshot up until July 2020)
  • Increased incidence and severity of wildfires (California, Australia, Brazil, Siberia)
  • Global climate change – latest scientific data (up to 2019 in some cases)
  • Finding and applying solutions to environmental problems

Take a quick look now – you can access an immediate FULL PREVIEW (see every page) by going to the product page and clicking on the Full Preview button at: www.thebiozone.com/apes
“I’d be delighted to receive any feedback about your impression of this resource,” Richard Allan Biozone’s President commented. “Our writing team have put their heart and soul into making it as engaging and as cutting edge as we can get it. We intend to publish a new edition every 2 years to keep it that way. So much is going on in this subject right now and we are super excited to share our passion to inspire better outcomes for our planet through science education!”
BIOZONE’s resources are available in both print and digital formats:

  • Digital version: allows teachers to assign and mark lessons remotely. A low-cost eBook Lite option is now available for budget-constrained districts.
  • Print version: Learning-from-home solutions can also include our print titles. Limited broadband access may be an obstacle for many students. Print titles, used alongside learning
    management tools and teacher coaching can provide effective “learning-from-home” solutions.

About Biozone
BIOZONE International is a world leader in delivering cutting-edge high-quality student instructional materials and teacher resources for high school sciences (grades 9-12). With a 30-year presence in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom, along with a global footprint of dedicated educators, we possess an absolute passion for next generation science.…Read More

Redefining what it means to be ‘college-ready’

Societal pressures on high school seniors seemingly grow by the year. These days, a student’s level of college and workforce readiness is said to be dependent on their college admission test scores, completing the most rigorous high school classes possible, and obtaining AP credit. But research shows that these are not the sole indicators.

ACT recently released a report that claims only 26 percent of 2018 high school graduates were ready for the workforce, but I believe readiness is dictated by so much more than a standardized test score.

Related content: 4 keys to supporting college and career readiness…Read More