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A+ College Ready Names 10 Huntsville City And Madison County Schools To Benefit From A $6.9 Million

HUNTSVILLE – Ten high schools in Huntsville and Madison County were selected today to participate in a statewide initiative to increase the number of students prepared to take rigorous college courses in math and science. Comprehensive training and incentive programs will be implemented in these schools to boost enrollment and success in Advanced Placement (AP ®) and Pre-AP courses in mathematics, science and English. 

Governor Bob Riley and State School Superintendent Joe Morton were in Huntsville to make the announcement to an audience of business leaders, educators and students.  “Alabama and the rest of the United States face critical workforce shortages in the areas of math and science,” said Governor Riley. “This partnership between The Schools Foundation,  A+ College Ready and the schools will help ensure that Alabama students are prepared to succeed in these subjects when they get to college.” 

The seven high schools in the Madison County Schools and Huntsville City Schools that will participate in the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program are:
Buckhorn, Hazel Green, Madison County and Sparkman High Schools in the Madison County School District; and Columbia, Huntsville High and Lee in the Huntsville City School District.

Additionally, three high schools - New Hope High School in Madison County and Butler and J.O. Johnson High Schools in Huntsville City -  were selected to participate as Laying the Foundation Pre-AP program schools. These schools and their feeder middle schools will institute a training and incentive program designed to increase the number of students engaged in Honors and Pre-AP coursework.

For the 2009-2010 school year, the selected high schools are projected to:

•    Increase enrollment in AP Courses in mathematics, science and English (MSE) by 129 percent
•    Increase the number of AP courses offered by the schools by 64 percent
•    More than double the number of qualifying scores students receive on AP exams – increasing from 260 this year to 585 qualifying scores after the first year of the initiative.

A+ College Ready will invest $4 million in training and incentives for these ten schools over the next five years.  When commitments by the state, district and local business community are included, the total investment is $6.9 million. The Schools Foundation is spearheading the fund drive to raise $1.2 million to support the Huntsville area expansion of the Advanced Placement program.

“College readiness for our youth is critical to the continued growth and success of our community,” Tony Jones, Vice President, Boeing Huntsville Site Executive said.  Boeing is a lead sponsor for A+, having pledged $500,000 for the program. “We need excellence in education to strengthen our high-tech workforce and to attract new scientists, engineers, and leaders into aerospace.  Our students deserve the opportunity to pursue their personal and professional ambitions that a strong education can provide.  A+ won our support because it provides opportunities, strengthens our teacher and mentor capabilities, and is founded on the concept of accountability. We are honored to support this tremendous initiative within our community.  Our schools are excellent, and they can be even better with the rigor and discipline of this program.”  
   
Program schools will receive training and incentives to help them expand their AP programs.   AP teachers will attend weeklong Summer Institutes, get coaching from experienced and successful AP teachers and receive stipends to compensate them for the extra time and work involved in teaching AP. Financial incentives based on academic results will be available to teachers, students and school leaders. Students can earn $100 for each qualifying score on a math, science or English AP exam, and teachers will receive $100 for each of their students who earn qualifying scores.
  
“Thanks to this exciting public-private partnership, teachers and students who step up to the challenge of Advanced Placement classes will get the resources and support they need to be successful. There is much to celebrate today,” said Joe Morton, State Superintendent of Education.
     
The 10 schools announced today will join a network of A+ College Ready AP Program schools that will include 80 schools over the next five years throughout the state and many more across the country. 


A+ College Ready, a division of the A+ Education Partnership, was created with a $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to implement a proven Advanced Placement training and incentive initiative in public schools throughout Alabama.  Key leadership involved in launching and supporting A+ College Ready included the Governor, the State Superintendent of Education, the Alabama Power Foundation, The Alabama Math, Science and Technology Education Coalition, Regions Financial Corporation and ExxonMobil Corporation. For more information, please visit www.apluscollegeready.org

The National Math and Science Initiative was formed to address the declining numbers of students equipped for careers in math and science, a trend posing a great economic and intellectual threat to the nation.  The Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program has three main goals: To increase the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement math, science and English courses; to increase the number of students earning qualifying scores on AP exams in those subject areas; and to increase the number of students attending and graduating from college with degrees in math and science.  NMSI's primary donors are the ExxonMobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information, please visit www.nationalmathandscience.org 

The Schools Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission is to create higher expectations and widespread community support for the three public school systems in Madison County Alabama, leading to world-class performance of principals, teachers and students.  The foundation serves as an advocate and leading organization for community engagement, as well as a vehicle for individuals and businesses to support public education.  The Schools Foundation donors for this initiative include The Boeing Company, Science Applications International Corporation, RBC Bank, AZ Technology, Redstone Federal Credit Union, System Studies and Simulation, Inc., ERC, Inc., Compass Bank, Belzon, First Commercial Bank, WILL Technology, Inc., Westar, COLSA Corporation, and Public FA, Inc. For more information, please visit www.theschoolsfoundation.org

 
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