Indiana News

Indiana Looking to Boost Advance Placement Courses in Schools

State joins National Math and Science Initiative; Pike High School in Indy among schools first in program

4/12/2012


Indiana State Superintendent Dr. Tony Bennett (WIBC.com photo: Ray Steele) --

More Hoosier high schoolers will have a chance to earn college credit, as Indiana is one of a handful of states seeking to boost the number of Advanced Placement courses and the number of students taking those courses.

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"We have a state that is aggressively, actively, collectively, collaboratively pursuing excellence in education," said State School Superintendent Tony Bennett in announcing that Indiana would participate in the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). The Initiative is a not-for-profit group funded primarily by ExxonMobil, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation that seeks to boost participation in A.P. courses, which give college credit to high school students that pass them.

The state is calling it's program AP-TIP IN (Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program for Indiana). It will receive $7 million in grant money from NMSI to train teachers and to increase the number of A.P. courses offered in high schools that are part of the program. Nine high schools will begin the initiative next year, and 24 additional schools will join over the next five years.

"I believe this has the greatest potential for impacting students and their college readiness plans," says Karen Morris, program director for AP-TIP IN. "That's what high school is about, and we want to help them achieve that."

Bennett says he's been excited about making this announcement since watching the Masters golf tournament over the weekend, where ExxonMobil ran commercials touting NMSI. "There are six states that are currently National Math and Science Initiative States, and by the way, those are the leading states in the country in A.P.," said Bennett. Indiana and Colorado are the seventh and eighth states to join the initiative.

The first high schools in the NMSI program are Perry Meridian, Pike, Southport, and Speedway High Schools in Indianapolis, Elkhart Central, Elkhart Memorial, and Concord High Schools in Elkhart, Jeffersonville High, and Mississinewa High School in Gas City.

"Not only do they have wonderful teachers, but it's really the commitment by the schools," says Morris. "They came up to the plate and said 'we really want to invest in our students.' The staff, the teachers, and the administrators, everyone was all for the elements of success."

The 24 other schools that will join the program eventually already have been selected, but have not been announced. "We'll take a look at their data again (next year) and go back and visit their schools, see where their readiness is and work with them to get them ready to go."


Pike High School students JaEisha Jones and Ariba Khalid on chance to take more AP courses (WIBC.com video: Ray Steele)

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