A+ College Ready empowers Advanced Placement (AP) teachers in Math, Science and English in our three school districts through a results-driven AP training program. Its key components include teacher training through the National Math Science Initiative (NMSI), vertical and horizontal team meetings, student prep sessions and mock exams.
This training and incentive program began September 2008 with applications from ten area high schools in partnership with The College Board, Dell, Exxon, and the Gates Foundation, Boeing, and SAIC.
Corporate partners include Boeing, SAIC, COLSA Corporation, RBC Bank, Compass Bank, First Commercial Bank, Dynetics, Inc., AeroJet, ERC Incorporated, AZ Technologies, WILL Technology, PublicFA, Belzon, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Systems Studies and Simulation, Inc. (S3), Westar/QinetiQ, FirstBank, and The Daniel Foundation of Alabama.
A+ College Ready Background and Objectives:
1. The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) was founded in March of 2007 to address the declining number of students who are prepared to take rigorous college courses in math and science. NMSI is a major new nonprofit designed to help America maintain its global leadership position in technological innovation.
2. NMSI has three main goals:
· To increase the number of students enrolled in College Board Advanced Placement (AP®) math, science and English courses;
· To increase the number of students earning qualifying scores (3, 4 or 5) on the College Board's AP exams in those subject areas;
· To increase the number of students attending and graduating from college with degrees in math and science.
3. NMSI's primary donors are the ExxonMobil Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
4. NMSI announced in September 2009 that Alabama was one of only seven states to receive funding to replicate the highly successful Advanced Placement training and incentive model developed in Texas. From the years 1996-2005, in ten high minority Dallas schools participating in the program, the number of AP exams taken increased by 900% and the number of AP exams passed increased by 750%.
5. A+ College Ready, a division of the A+ Education Foundation, was created with a $13.2 million, 6-year grant, from NMSI. Key leadership involved in launching the initiative included the Governor, the State Superintendent of Education, the Alabama Power Foundation and the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Education Coalition. In Alabama, A+ College Ready's lead donors to date are the Alabama Power Foundation and Regions Financial Corporation. Other donors are being solicited to fund program expansion.
6. In Huntsville-Madison County, lead donors include The Boeing Company and SAIC. Additional corporate partners and donors include: RBC Bank, Compass Bank, First Commercial Bank, Westar/QinetiQ, ERC, Inc., Systems Studies and Simulation, Inc. (S3), WILL Technology, AZ Technology, PublicFA, ERC, Inc., COLSA Corporation, Dynetics, AeroJet, Redstone Federal Credit Union, FirstBank, and The Daniel Foundation of Alabama.
7. Twelve high schools in Huntsville and Madison County were selected as A+ College Ready program schools for the 2010-2011 school year, all working to acheive the following goals:
· increase AP Course offerings in mathematics, science and English by 60 percent;
· increase course enrollments in these classes 70 percent,
· more than double the number of qualifying scores in the first year. On AP exams, qualifying scores are grades of three, four or five.
8. Participating schools in the A+ College Ready program are: Sparkman, Hazel Green, Buckhorn, Madison County, Columbia, Huntsville, New Century Technology, New Hope, and Lee high schools. Schools participating in the Laying The Foundation pre-AP training program are Butler and Johnson high schools.
9. To implement the program the Huntsville and Madison County schools, The Schools Foundation worked with local companies to raise $2 million over 5 years as matching funds for the NMSI grant. This pledge from the private sector helps to secure the balance of needed in matching funds ($200,000) from state and federal sources. The Schools Foundation serves as the fiscal agent and provide program support.
10. Each school participating in the program receives training and incentives to help expand math, science and English AP programs to include:
· Summer Institutes for AP teachers
· on-site coaching and mentoring for AP and Pre-AP teachers
· professional development for Pre-AP teachers (6-11 grades)
· stipends to teachers for the extra time and work involved in teaching college level courses
· financial incentives based on results for teachers, students, and school leaders. (Students earn $100 for each qualifying score on a math, science or English AP exam, and teachers receives $100 for each of their students who earn qualifying scores.)
· additional monies for equipment and instructional materials