Twenty additional high schools across the state have been selected to participate in a successful statewide initiative, which will increase the number of students prepared for the challenge of college courses.
This new cohort makes a total of 171 Alabama high schools in the ALSDE / A+ College Ready Program that receive comprehensive teacher training and student support to boost enrollment and success in Advanced Placement (AP®) courses in mathematics, science, English, social studies, computer science, and the rigorous courses that prepare students for success in AP, college and career.
“A+ has changed the way we do business at Fayette County High School,” said Jeremy Madden, principal at Fayette County High School. “The program has given us the tools to level the playing field for our students compared to the bigger systems. The training delivers with teacher resources – it is the best training our teachers have ever attended.”
Alabama has consistently ranked number one among all 50 states in the percent increase in AP qualifying scores on math, science and English AP exams from 2008-2016 for all students. Last year Alabama ranked #3 in the nation the same percent increase for minority students.
“With the great support from A+ for both teachers and students, there will be a comprehensive, rigorous program in grades 6 – 10, and AP courses in multiple content areas to meet the needs of our students beginning in the 2017-18 school year,” said Elisabeth Davis, superintendent of Eufaula City Schools.
At the April 13th meeting, the State Board of Education was presented with a resolution recognizing the new schools, and gave credit to the partnership between the ALSDE and A+ College Ready for helping thousands of Alabama students become college and career ready.
“As a seasoned college professor and representative on the State School Board, I fully support the efforts of A+ College Ready in increasing access to quality instruction for all Alabama students,” said Dr. Cynthia McCarty, elected to the Alabama State Board of Education in 2014 to represent District 06. “With nine days of intensely rigorous annual professional development expected of participating AP teachers, the teachers are certainly well prepared to provide challenging, college-level environments for students, no matter the setting or size of the school.”
The schools invited to join the ALSDE / A+ College Ready Program in the 2017-18 school year will be the tenth group of schools participating in this statewide college readiness program, which expands the program into over half of all Alabama public school districts.
“Classrooms in Albertville, Loachapoka, or Baldwin County, for example, will all require the same level of rigor and analysis,” said McCarty. “With over 20,000 of 2016’s seniors qualifying for college credit, Alabama high school seniors will be able to save money and time as they transition to college. And students are certainly more prepared for the demands of college coursework by having mastered AP courses.”
The 10 schools joining the ALSDE/A+ College Ready Program for Cohort X are:
10 of the 20 schools were selected to participate as Pipeline Schools. These schools will institute an aggressive training program designed to increase the number of students enrolled and succeeding in rigorous coursework in an effort to prepare for a full implementation of Advanced Placement courses the following year:
For the 2017-18 school year, the 20 newly selected high schools are collectively projected to accomplish the following goals:
- Implement over 80 AP courses in math, science, English, social studies, and computer science
- Add over 2100 new enrollments to the AP courses listed above
- Reach a goal of students earning over 800 new qualifying scores on AP exams in these courses in May, 2018
- Implement a rigorous curricula in grade 6-11 that will better prepare more students to succeed in Advanced Placement and to prepare ALL STUDENTS to succeed in whatever pathway they choose following high school graduation
The ALSDE / A+ College Ready Program provides extensive training and support for teachers and students in high school and middle school. For teachers this includes:
- Weeklong summer training institutes
- Additional days of professional development throughout the year
- Ongoing support and coaching from expert content directors and managers
- Financial stipends based on academic results
- Funding for equipment infrastructure to implement AP and A+ College Ready developed curricular frameworks. These frameworks include the National Math and Science Initiative’s (NMSI’s) Laying the Foundation lessons for math, science and English and Social Studies for College and Career Readiness and Civic Participation (SSC3) for social studies.
AP students participate in Saturday study sessions led by experienced master teachers, have reduced exam fees, and can earn financial incentives based on academic success.
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) in 2008 to implement a proven college-readiness and Advanced Placement 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 Initiative, Regions Financial Corporation, Boeing and ExxonMobil Corporation. The Alabama State Legislature, with additional support from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education, the Department of Defense and code.org, now fund the ALSDE/A+ College Ready Program so the program can continue to thrive.