Kentucky School Shows Greatest AP Gain in National Program

September 21, 2011 Lexington, Ky  –  Among the 44 Kentucky public schools participating in AdvanceKentucky during the 10-11 school year, Clay County High School led the way with a one-year growth of 634 percent in Advanced Placement (AP)* math, science and English (MSE) qualifying scores – from 11 to 81.  This number is the best in the state among participating program schools with at least 10 qualifying scores from the previous year.  Growth like this has not been seen in AdvanceKentucky's existence to date.

Gregg Fleisher, National AP Training and Incentive Program Director of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), said about the results, "Considering both raw number and percent increases, in 2011 Clay County High School had the single greatest year in the history of the AP Training and Incentive Program, which dates back to 1990 involving hundreds of schools in seven states.  We applaud the efforts of the entire district and community, and are proud to support their efforts."

Clay County's success is a result of commitment to the model for improvement laid out by the National Math and Science Initiative. This model centers on open enrollment to all students, teacher training and preparation, the teaming of middle school, pre-AP and AP teachers in working to improve the rigor of coursework, and more time on task for students and teachers.

On Friday September 23, the Clay County High School students who earned the 81 AP qualifying scores on the national math, science, and English exams will receive $8,100 in rewards for their academic achievements.  The money comes from a partnership with AdvanceKentucky which includes funding from the National Math and Science Initiative, which is supported by ExxonMobil, the Dell and Gates Foundations, Lockheed and others.  The Kentucky Department of Education, Appalachian Regional Commission and Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education are supporting the program as well as support from the schools.

With increasing emphasis being placed on preparing students college and career success, many schools are seeking ways to increase the rigor of their coursework.  Last year, Clay County along with 43 other schools chose to partner with AdvanceKentucky to achieve this goal.  AdvanceKentucky is a National Math and Science Initiative affiliate that works with Kentucky high schools to better prepare students for success after high school by increasing access to, participation in and achievement in Advanced Placement classes.

In the last year the state has seen the number of AP MSE qualifying scores increase by 14.9 percent, almost twice the national average. Contributing to this growth are the AdvanceKentucky schools which saw a 40.6% growth over the same time period. Further, the sixteen schools that joined AdvanceKentucky in the latest round collectively, including Clay County High School, saw a 144 percent in the
number of scores qualifying to earn college credit.  Clay County High School has entered its second year in AdvanceKentucky and the entire Clay County team is already building on ways to sustain this success.

At a recent Clay County school board meeting Joanne Lang, executive director of AdvanceKentucky, congratulated Clay County's students, teachers and administrators.  "Clay County, like the rest of our schools, demonstrates that the NMSI model works. If you invest in teachers and students and embrace open enrollment you see tremendous gains that will help transform students' futures."

Also in attendance was the National Math and Science Initiative's Regional Director Dale Fleury who first brought to our attention the extraordinary context of Clay County's first-year results.  Mr. Fleury personally delivered congratulations from the NMSI's headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

About AdvanceKentucky: This is an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, which is a non-profit founded in 1987 to advance science and technology.  Our education program is
designed to expand access to, participation in and dramatically increase student academic success as measured by performance on rigorous national AP math, science and English exams.   www.advanceky.com  and www.kstc.com

About National Math and Science Initiative:  NMSI, a non-profit organization, is an agent of change that was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to focus on improving student achievement in math and science across the American public school system.  NMSI's mission is to bring best practices to the education sector by replicating two proven programs on a national scale that each has more than 10 years of data proving they work:  the AP Training and Incentive Program (APTIP) and UTeach, a program to recruit and prepare college students to become qualified math, science and computer science teachers – offered at Western Kentucky University.  www.nationalmathandscience.org

NMSI has received major funding support for its ground-breaking national initiatives from Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, with additional support from the Carnegie Corporation, Texas Instruments Foundation and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

About NMSI's AP Teacher Training and Incentive Program: APTIP increases dramatically the performance of high school students in rigorous AP courses in math, science, and English. The comprehensive approach includes intensive teacher training, support from master teachers, more time on task for students in special study sessions, open enrollment, and incentives. Passing AP exam scores are almost universally accepted for course credit by the nation's colleges and universities, which see success in AP courses as reliable indicators of students' subject-area knowledge and capacity for college-level thinking.

About Advanced Placement: AP is a program of the New York-based College Board, which offers high school students the opportunity for college credit in more than 30 subjects, ranging from high-level math and science to fine arts, if they score well on a standardized end-of-course exam. www.collegeboard.org   and http://apcentral.collegeboard.com 

AdvanceKentucky/KSTC
200 W. Vine St. Suite 420
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