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NMSI Blog

AP Program Expands in Colorado

 On February 26, the Colorado Legacy Foundation (CLF) announced the second cohort of schools to participate in the Colorado Legacy Schools initiative with funding from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). Colorado Legacy Schools is a local replication of the proven National Math and Science Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP), which has an unparalleled record of closing achievement gaps and increasing college readiness in program schools. This initiative provides funding for extensive teacher training, student exam fees, classroom equipment and supplies, awards for those who excel, and extra time on task for students during Saturday study sessions.
 
 Last year, Colorado Legacy Schools’ three schools represented just over 1% of the total number of schools in Colorado giving AP exams, yet they accounted for 19% of the growth in passing scores statewide. We fully anticipate replication of that success with this second cohort of schools. Colorado Legacy Schools is about changing the culture of learning environments so that every student has the opportunity to receive the supports they need to succeed in AP coursework. We believe that demographics in an AP classroom should mirror the diversity of the school’s hallway. This program advances that principle, and we look forward to working closely with CDE and educators through the state to expand this success.
 
 The ten high schools, from rural, urban and suburban school districts throughout Colorado, are: Delta High School, Denver South High School, Greeley Central High School, Harrison High School, Northridge High School, Pueblo South High School, Rangeview High School, Sand Creek High School, Skyline High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School. These schools will receive support in dramatically increasing the number and diversity of students succeeding in AP math, Science, and English courses for three school years beginning in 2013-2014.
 
 In the 2011-2012 school year, the three participating pilot schools increased the number of students earning qualifying scores on AP math, science, and English exams from 48 to 256—a 433% increase which accounts for nearly 20% of the overall increase in these subjects for the entire state of Colorado. The impact on historically underrepresented students was even more profound, as these three schools increased the number of African American and Hispanic students earning qualifying scores by over 1,000%.
 
 The Colorado Legacy Foundation is expected to expand Colorado Legacy Schools to include an additional 10 high schools in 2014-2015, for a total of thirty participating schools.
 
 Initial funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense and Exxon Mobile. These investments led to CLF receiving the Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant through the US Department of Education for expansion of this work throughout the nation.
 
Click here to learn more about the Colorado Legacy Foundation.
 
 Helayne Jones was named President & CEO of the Colorado Legacy Foundation in March 2009. As the leader of this dynamic, growing organization, Jones draws on 15 years of expertise gained as an education consultant, her experience as a college professor, and her previous work as a marketing executive. Her consulting experience includes work with school districts and education foundations in Colorado and throughout the country to implement school reform by improving business processes in education systems. She also has extensive experience with private-sector and nonprofit organizations to facilitate strategic planning, board communications, and manage the impact of change.