Lots to Love about AP Success and Expansion in Alabama

Valentine’s Day just passed, but for students, teachers and parents across Alabama there is still plenty to love about recent research results and news reports outlining exciting Advanced Placement gains in the state and plans to expand the proven effective A+ College Ready AP Training and Incentive Program into even more public high schools.

“A+ College Ready improves academic opportunities for students across the state and ultimately allows businesses to employ the best and brightest graduates.” said Dr. Eli Capilouto, Provost, University of Alabama at Birmingham and A+ College Ready Board member. “This belief is echoed by business leaders from Alabama Power Co., Regions Financial Corporation, Boeing and ExxonMobil that help fund A+ College Ready along with other companies, foundations and individual donors from across the state.”

Just last week, a report from the College Board indicated that the 2010 Advanced Placement scores for Alabama students were the best in history. And, on Tuesday, Gov. Robert Bentley compounded the good news for Alabama’s economic future when he announced that 20 more state high schools will soon join the 43 others already participating in the A+ College Ready Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program.

“A+ College Ready is a proven investment that is preparing our students today for the jobs of tomorrow,” Gov. Bentley said. “The expansion of Advanced Placement training into 63 schools proves that Alabama is not only committed to building and sustaining a world-class workforce, but that our teachers and students are most definitely up to the task.”

Bentley’s comments came during a ceremony at Greenville High School where he was joined by State School Superintendent Dr. Joe Morton, representatives of the National Math and Science Initiative and leaders from the A+ Education Partnership.

A+ College Ready, which is funded by a $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), was established to significantly increase the number of Alabama students taking math, science, and English AP courses and earning qualifying scores on AP exams. Through its AP Training and Incentive Program, A+ College Ready uses the funds to give students and teachers the tools, resources and support they need to succeed, as never before in Alabama, in teaching and learning rigorous AP course work.

Alabama is one of only six U.S. states to win a coveted [CG2] NMSI AP Training and Incentive Program grant. After just the first year of implementation, 23 Alabama schools in five districts recorded a 106 percent increase in passing scores on AP math, science and English exams. Alabama led the nation in increasing the number of students earning passing scores, with a success rate 16 times the national average of 6.6 percent..

“Alabama students are succeeding in AP classes at unprecedented rates. With the addition of 20 new schools, we will open AP classroom doors to more students than ever before, including some who may not have initially believed they could succeed at this level,” Morton said. “Our results show that with the right support, Alabama teachers and students can and will achieve at high levels.”

The 20 new high schools selected through a competitive application process to participate in the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program include:

• Carver HS and Jackson-Olin HS – Birmingham City Schools
• Greenville HS – Butler County Schools
• Hillcrest HS – Conecuh County Schools
• Stanhope Elmore HS – Elmore County Schools
• Oak Grove HS – Jefferson County Schools
• Asbury HS, Douglas HS, Kate Duncan Smith DAR HS – Marshall
County Schools
• Monroe County HS – Monroe County Schools
• Saraland HS – Saraland City Schools
• Calera HS, Shelby County HS – Shelby County Schools
• Tallassee HS – Tallassee City Schools
• Hewitt Trussville HS – Trussville City Schools
• Central HS, Northridge HS, Paul Bryant HS – Tuscaloosa City Schools
• Hillcrest HS, Tuscaloosa Co. HS – Tuscaloosa County Schools

Learn more facts about A+ College Ready and steady AP performance improvements in Alabama schools here.