Friday, September 17, 2010

Advance Kentucky schools pace state and nation for AP course performance

Once again, the Advance Kentucky program to improve Advanced Placement (AP) course participation and performance in Kentucky’s high schools has produced some really impressive results. This program, which I have written about before, features many innovations such as very careful and thorough training of AP teachers along with merit pay for those teachers and rewards for students. AdvanceKY, as it bills itself, is raising the bar for performance in Kentucky.

The 28 high schools that participated in the AdvanceKY program in the 2009-10 school term (listed below) accounted for an astounding 43 percent of ALL the increases in AP passing scores (scores of 3 or higher) in Kentucky high schools statewide.

Considering that Kentucky had 225 high schools in this school year that reported scores from ACT testing, this means that just 12 percent of Kentucky’s high schools produced 43 percent of all the improvement statewide. That’s remarkable.

But, there was a lot more good news in the news conference hosted by AdvanceKY head Joanne Lang and Gregg Fleisher, the National AP Director at the National Math and Science Initiative. Mr. Fleisher’s organization assisted the formation of AdvanceKY with funding and other support.

A few highlights from the news conference include:

• The 28 AdvanceKY high schools achieved 2,112 AP math, science, English (MSE) qualifying scores (QS) or a 53% increase above 2009 compared to U.S. and KY increases of 7.5% and 9.1%, respectively

• AdvanceKY schools increased AP passing scores at seven times the national rate.

• Thanks in large measure to AdvanceKY schools, Kentucky ranked 4th in the Nation in percent increase in AP scores of 3 or more in the math, science and English test areas (17.5%) from 2009 to 2010.

• In the first group of schools to participate in AdvanceKY, those schools in “Cohort 1,” the increase in AP Math, Science and English exams scored 3 or higher for minority students rose an astonishing 825 percent between 2009 and 2010.

• Thanks to the AdvanceKY schools, Kentucky surpassed the U.S. rate for minorities (blacks and Hispanics) scoring 3 or more in the math, science and English areas.

There were a lot of worthwhile comments from state leaders such as State Senator David Williams, Education Secretary Joe Meyer and Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday, and I’ll cover those in future blogs.

But, the lead honors rightly go to Ms. Lang and Mr. Fleisher’s organizations for bringing their superbly performing program to Kentucky.

You can find more details about the AdvanceKY 2010 AP performance here.

And, here is a list of the schools that turned in such remarkable performance on the AP last year.

Congratulations to all!

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