Montgomery, Ala. – Seven middle schools in Alabama are receiving the A+ College Ready ‘School of Excellence’ award for record academic growth during their time in the A+ College Ready Middle School Training and Incentive Program (MSTIP). The MSTIP was started by A+ College Ready in partnership with the Alabama State Department of Education, as a pilot program in 2020 and is currently serving 9 middle schools across the state. Awardees are Brookwood Middle School, Carbon Hill Jr. High School, Orange Beach Middle School, Pisgah High School, Scottsboro Junior High School, Hewitt Trussville Middle School, and Wetumpka Middle School.
The Middle School Training and Incentive Program is modeled after A+ College Ready’s Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program which has dramatically increased student access and success in Advanced Placement math, science, English, social studies, and Computer Science in Alabama in the past decade. The middle school program includes teacher training, administrator training and support, teacher empowerment through equipment/materials/supplies, and teacher, leader, and student incentives based upon student achievement and growth as measured by the PSAT along with the Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program (ACAP).
The goal of the Middle School Pilot is to increase access to A+ College Ready’s cutting-edge professional learning for teachers along with the other program components, in middle schools. By expanding access to these tried-and-true resources, both A+ College Ready and the ALSDE are aiming to improve outcomes for participating middle school students.
Schools that received the 2021-2022 ‘School of Excellence’ award have met their goal of a 50-point increase over their baseline scores on the PSAT during one year of participating in the program. Out of nine total schools in the program, seven schools had at least a 58-point growth or higher during the 2021-2022 school year. Note: According to College Board, a 30-point growth in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EWR) or Math is equivalent to a full year’s academic growth
Overall, this pilot program is incredibly successful for all participating schools. Over 2,300 eight-grade students from 9 middle schools participated in the 2021-22 testing cycle. The number of students meeting the college-readiness benchmark in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing increased by 35% and the number of students meeting the college-readiness benchmark in Mathematics increased by 96%.
“In order for students to be successful in life after K-12 schooling, they need to be challenged and supported in school. This work must start prior to high school,” said Tammy Dunn, Vice President for Academic Affairs, A+ College Ready. “This pilot program has exceeded our expectations of success for students. Seven out of nine of our middle schools accomplished an incredible increase in student achievement. This commitment to high expectations and rigor in the classroom will have a lasting impact on these students for years to come.”
Middle schools receiving the A+ College Ready ‘School of Excellence’ award are:
Brookwood Middle School – 66-point growth
Carbon Hill Jr. High – 65-point growth
Orange Beach Middle School – 111-point growth
Pisgah High School – 71-point growth
Scottsboro Junior High School – 83-point growth
Hewitt Trussville Middle School – 57-point growth
Wetumpka Middle School – 58-point growth
More about A+ College Ready Requirements:
The ALSDE / A+ College Ready Program provides extensive training and support for teachers and students in high school and middle school through our AP Training and Incentive Program and our Middle School Training and Incentive Program. In high school, AP students participate in virtual study sessions led by experienced master teachers, have reduced exam fees, and can earn financial incentives based on academic success. 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 (NMSI’s) Laying the Foundation lessons for math, science, and English.