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Comprehensive Program Improves College & Career Readiness for Students

We’re very proud to announce the national results of the NMSI Comprehensive AP Program for the 2012-2013 academic year!  We are now in our fifth consecutive year of success for the program, and new academic performance data confirms that we are providing a dramatic increase in academic performance across the country.  NMSI schools have a desire to improve, and they have once again significantly raised the number of passing scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams, at a rate that far exceeds the national average. 
 
Here are some of the key highlights from our NMSI media results announcement call:

•During the 2012-2013 school year, the average school in its first year of the NMSI program experienced a 72% increase in passing AP math, science and English scores – approximately 10 times the national average.
•Over the three-year life cycle of the NMSI program, the average increase in the number of passing scores on AP math, science and English exams is 144%, compared to 23.2% nationally.
• Although the NMSI program has only been implemented in 2% of U.S. schools, it accounts for 7.5% of the national increases in passing scores on AP math, science and English exams.
•Over the course of the three-year program, the number of African-American and Hispanic students who achieved passing AP scores in math, science and English courses tripled. The number of passing scores achieved by the program’s female students on AP math and science exams over the three-year program also tripled.
 
We’re especially proud of the last two statistics, since both girls and minorities need the support and encouragement to pursue courses and careers in STEM-related fields. As mentioned in an article written by Renee Schoof, McClatchy Washington Bureau, “The program has been especially helpful in boosting success for girls and minority students – groups that have been under-represented in advanced math and science classes.”
 


 NBCLatino notes that with the program, “Hispanic students specifically closed the score gap by 13% in one year in schools. Within the first year, the number of minority students who achieved a passing score in math and science courses increased by 95%.” So not only is our program helping increase students’ exposure to rigorous STEM courses, it’s also helping them succeed by arming them with the understanding and critical thinking skills needed in college and to be full participants in the knowledge economy.
 
Our primary focus is, and always has been, the students and we are thrilled to see them have such tremendous success in the classroom. But we also know that students from NMSI schools are in the minority. Implementing such a dramatic, positive change in only 2% of schools is just barely scratching the surface of what needs to happen if this country is going to rise from its current global standing in math and science. Too many students are struggling to do well in school, and they are falling through the cracks because they don’t have the support they need to be confident in their learning abilities; they don’t know that they have the potential to be incredible in the classroom.
 
During our NMSI Comprehensive AP Results media conference call, we were able to respond to a few national media questions. Here is one we would like to share:
 
How does NMSI do it? What factors have the biggest impact on success of AP exams?
•At NMSI, the elements for success really fall on a couple of things. There first needs to be a demonstration of desire to change the school culture to help boost educational experiences for both teachers and students. A site visit is then held at the school to fully understand the current situation of the school, its teachers and students, and what we need to do to demonstrate focus on college readiness. NMSI and the school then develop a commitment and set goals on AP participation and success in the first year. Teachers are also provided the tools, resources and training they need to help their students succeed in higher level thinking and challenging courses. And for the students who are in those AP courses, we host Saturday study sessions, where they can receive one-on-one support from their teachers to help them solidify their knowledge and understanding of the difficult concepts at hand.  Because of these core elements, our students outperform many others in the nation.
 
We know this is a result of a cultural transformation in the school body that is tied to every aspect of the program. And that is the main reason why the NMSI Comprehensive AP Program is so successful. In the words of Gregg Fleisher, Chief Academic Officer of NMSI, “We remove all the barriers to student and teacher success – or at least as many as we can,” and we do this by providing schools and teachers with the resources and support we know they critically need.
 
“NMSI’s work to increase student performance in AP math, science and English classes is critically important to both our education system and our economy,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and College Readiness at the College Board. “As the national administrator of the AP program, the College Board is proud to partner with NMSI to prepare the next generation of young men and women for college success.”  
 
NMSI’s Comprehensive AP Program is now reaching more than 550 high schools in 22 states, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the thousands of teachers and students who have proven their dedication to our program. They helping amend the STEM crisis that is plaguing this nation, and we will continue to support them in every way possible.
 
Learn more about the program and the other ways that we’re helping our nation’s children achieve and succeed in advanced courses to better themselves and build their futures.