Students attending Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools will get $100 for passing certain Advanced Placement exams, and their teachers will net the same amount for each student who earns a passing score, under a grant announced today by Harford County Public Schools and the National Math and Science Initiative.
Awarded by the NMSI Initiative for Military Families, the grant is a first in the state of Maryland.
Gregg Fleisher, NMSI national director of the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program, said that the monetary incentives get attention, but are a “small part of what we do.” Fleisher said that the initiative scales up proven educational programs, leading to increases in the numbers of passing scores on AP exams in math, science and English.
Designed to reach students from military families, who often endure multiple moves and parental absences due to deployment, the goal of the program is to provide consistent, high-level math and science education. The three-year grant program will include:
• Intensive training and supports for AP teachers, including an on-call AP subject area expert
• More time on task for students, including tutoring and study sessions after school and on Saturdays, adding up to an extra two weeks of class time for students and teachers
• Monetary incentives for success on the AP exams
In addition to earning $100 for passing scores, students will pay half the usual AP exam fee ($87 for HCPS students) and teachers will be eligible for an additional $1,000 per year for hitting the targeted number of students with passing scores, Fleisher said. The program is limited to AP exams in math, science and English.
Morgan Sulzbach, a sophomore at Aberdeen HS, said that the incentives caught the attention of high school students. “The money means a lot,” she said, especially for those who plan to take more than one AP exam.
While targeting Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools because of their large number of students in military families and proximity to Aberdeen Proving Ground, the program will be open to all AP students in math, science and English at each of the two schools. The initiative will begin with AP classes starting this fall and the AP exams given in the spring of 2013. Fleisher said that while students will have to meet prerequisites, the idea is to remove barriers to student participation through open enrollment.
Results will be tracked at each school, Fleisher said, and goals have been set for the number of exams with passing scores. Teri Kranefeld, manager of communications for HCPS, provided the following information about the targets set at each school:
“Aberdeen [HS] agreed to increase the number of qualifying scores on AP MSE (Math, Science and English) exams from 123 (2010-2011) to 257 in 2014-2015.
Havre de Grace High agreed to increase the number of qualifying scores on AP MSE exams from 24 (2010-2011) to 74 in 2014-2015.”
Kranefeld said that each school will increase AP participation and add courses in some AP subjects.
Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools will each receive $150,000 per year for three years through the NMSI grant, which was awarded to the two Harford County public schools following a competitive process. Grant funding for the Aberdeen HS program will be provided by The Boeing Company; funding for Havre de Grace will be provided by Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). Both organizations are among the public and private partners in NMSI.
While lauding the opportunity for students in Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools, HCPS Superintendent Robert Tomback said that the results from those schools will be used to make the case to the business community to expand the program to all ten public high schools in the county. “That’s where we’re going…this is the beginning,” Tomback said. Expressing confidence in the outcomes at Aberdeen and Havre de Grace, Tomback concluded, “We believe the results will be breathtaking.”
Below is the press release from Harford County Public Schools:
ABERDEEN AND HAVRE DE GRACE HIGH SCHOOLS CELEBRATE NMSI ADVANCED PLACEMENT INITIATIVE LAUNCH
Two Harford County high schools net AP grant award opportunity to benefit military families
A celebratory kick-off event for Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools held today at the Harford County Public Schools A.A. Roberty Building marked the launch of the National Mathematics and Science Initiative (NMSI) Initiative for Military Families (IMF) program expansion in Maryland. NMSI National Director of the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP) Gregg Fleisher, Principal Assistant Director for National Security and International Affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Arun A. Seraphin, Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Marilee Fitzgerald, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) Major General Robert Ferrell, Board of Education of Harford County President Leonard Wheeler, Superintendent of Schools Robert Tomback, representatives from The Boeing Company, among many other school system employees and Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools students and staff , were on site to celebrate the event.
Serving over 350 military families alone, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools educate and inspire many students that have one or both parents serving in the military. Many of those students may experience the hardship of having at least one parent deployed overseas. The IMF provides college-level coursework in science, math, and English for students of military families. While it is the goal of the IMF to provide excellence and continuity for students whenever and wherever their military families are transferred, all students in participating schools may benefit from the program.
The grant funding, provided by Boeing for Aberdeen High School and DoDEA for Havre de Grace High School, will provide NMSI’s highly-successful Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP). Both schools submitted a grant application and NMSI conducted formal site visits and assessments to gauge focus, commitment, and potential success of APTIP. The APTIP was launched in 2010 in four schools and in the first year, the AP math, science and English scores increased 45 percent which was almost six times the national average.
“APTIP is equipping our students from military families to compete on the global stage,” said Gregg Fleisher, the National Director of APTIP for NMSI. He pointed out that research indicates that students passing AP courses in high school are three times more likely to complete a college degree. Further, AP students are among the few American students who compare favorably with their counterparts in other countries on internationally ranked math and science exams.
The goal of the APTIP program is to increase the number of students enrolled in math, science, and English Advanced Placement (AP) courses. In addition, the program is designed to increase the number of students receiving qualifying scores of three or greater on the AP exams. The four-tiered program incorporates teacher support (high quality, content-focused teacher training in addition to teacher mentoring and vertical teaming), student support (encouraging open enrollment and academic tutoring and study sessions), incentive awards (awards for student and teacher performance), and program management (employing expert teams and strong partners) as the proven elements of success.
“Boeing is proud to support the expansion of the National Math and Science Initiative’s Initiative for Military Families into the Aberdeen Proving Ground community,” said Waldo Carmona, director of Networked Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “This important program ensures that military family members from the community have access to enhanced educational opportunities, particularly in the areas of science and technology, as they prepare for college. Boeing is committed to supporting our nation’s military and their families here in Maryland and helping prepare the future workforce for careers in technology and innovation.”
When asked what this opportunity means for her school, Havre de Grace junior Monique Watson stated, “…I believe it will generate an excitement for coursework that will elevate our studies to the next level. Having this opportunity will give me the ability to accelerate my path to a college degree and give me a competitive edge moving forward that I may not have otherwise received. On behalf of our students, I want to thank NMSI, Boeing and DoDEA for investing in our futures.”
Specific goals for increased AP participation and qualifying scores have been set for both schools and the accountability piece will be tracked and assessed by NMSI at the conclusion of each of the next three school years. NMSI requires strict observance of the four program elements to ensure the success of the initiative.
“We know that participation in AP coursework gives our students the academic edge over others as they prepare for post-secondary education and futures beyond the classroom,” said Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Robert M. Tomback. “In order to provide the rigor and opportunity in STEM related fi elds, our Board of Education has identified increased AP participation and qualifying scores for all students as a focus through our strategic plan. We are excited and grateful that NMSI, Boeing and DoDEA will be providing the fiscal and academic resources to assist us in that endeavor for Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools, two of our high schools that are home to many students whose parents serve our country.”
For additional information about the National Mathematics Science Initiative APTIP, please contact Rena Pederson, NMSI communications director at (214) 665-2523 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.nationalmathandscience.org.
About the Boeing Company: Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.
About APTIP: APTIP dramatically increases 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, increased time on task for students in special study sessions, open enrollment, and incentives for teachers and students. 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 NMSI: NMSI is an agent of change that was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education and science to improve 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 proven programs on a national scale that have more than 10 years of proven results. NMSI has received major funding support for its groundbreaking national incentives from Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, with additional support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.