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Colorado Students Excel on Advanced Placement Exams

Program to Close Achievement Gap Celebrates Record Gains
 
DENVER, CO – Today the Colorado Legacy Foundation (CLF) in partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) announced  a 70 percent increase in Advanced Placement* (AP) scores for the 13 schools supported by the Colorado Legacy Schools initiative during the 2012-2013 school year. The Colorado Legacy Schools initiative is a local replication of NMSI’s proven Comprehensive AP Program, which has demonstrated an unprecedented track record closing the achievement gap and increasing college readiness.


“The Colorado Legacy Schools initiative is about changing the culture of learning environments so that every student has the opportunity to receive the support they need to succeed in AP coursework,” said Dr. Helayne Jones, President and CEO of the Colorado Legacy Foundation. “These results represent a 70 percent increase in the number of students who earned a passing score of three or more on the math, science and English AP exam. These outstanding results equate to 522 new high school students who have had the opportunity to participate and succeed in rigorous AP coursework.”
 
The Colorado Legacy Schools initiative focuses on supporting students in both geographically and demographically diverse schools to increase equitable success in rigorous math, science, and English Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The 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.
 
“This initiative partnership with the Colorado Legacy Foundation is exciting to Jeffco Schools because it fits so nicely with our district’s mission to support and prepare our students to be career or college ready when they leave our high schools,” said Jeffco Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson. “When we demand more rigor in our classrooms our students require less remediation at the college level. We’re just as thrilled the AP classes being offered at Arvada High School focus on math and science, those STEM core subjects that make our kids more competitive in the job world.”
 
Community members and educators joined the student body of Arvada High School to celebrate the outstanding AP test results. Participants included Robert Hammond, Commissioner of Education; Dr. Cindy Stevenson, Superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools; Dr. Helayne Jones, President & CEO of Colorado Legacy Foundation; Dale Fleury, senior regional director for NMSI; Leroy Williams of Ball Corporation and Arvada High School students.
 
“The best thing about AP classes is you get the prep for college and you get to learn so much more than you ever would have imagined in high school,” said Megan, Junior at Arvada High School. “What I really like about it is they have study sessions which teach you how to take the test, how to answer the questions, and what you should really be looking for. It’s difficult and challenging, but you have no idea how much it prepares you. It expands your mind to places you never thought it could go.”
 
The additional high schools from rural, urban and suburban school districts throughout Colorado who will be participating in the second cohort of the Colorado Legacy Schools initiative include: 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.
 
“The AP teachers and students at Arvada High School far exceeded our expectations last year. Their 95% growth in passing math, science, and English AP scores was over 10 times the state and national average,” said Gregg Fleisher, Chief Academic Officer at the National Math and Science Initiative. “Through our partner, the Colorado Legacy Foundation, we are proud to support Arvada and the state of Colorado to ensure more students have the opportunity to pursue careers in STEM fields.”
 
Colorado high schools participating in the Colorado Legacy Schools initiative last year included: Abraham Lincoln High School, Arvada High School, Aurora Central High School, Centennial High School, Central High School, Fountain-Fort Carson High School, Fruita Monument High School, Grand Junction High School, James Irwin High School, Mesa Ridge High School, Northglenn High School, Vista Ridge High School, and Widefield High School.
 
“Ball Corporation is a proud supporter of public education,” said Leroy Williams, Vice President of Information Technology and Services for Ball Corporation. “We understand the importance to support a diverse population of students who have not previously had the motivation or support to seek out challenging Advanced Placement coursework. We are proud to celebrate the success of the Colorado Legacy Schools program.”
 
Initial funding for the Colorado Legacy Schools initiative was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense and Exxon Mobil Corporation. 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.
 
To learn more about the Colorado Legacy Foundation, please visit www.colegacy.org.
 
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About Colorado Legacy Foundation: The Colorado Legacy Foundation (CLF) is an independent non-profit working in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and public education stakeholders to accelerate bold improvement in student achievement through innovation, collaboration, and capacity building. CLF believes that increased student achievement for all Colorado students requires effective leaders in every school, effective educators in every classroom, and healthy and engaging environments that ignite a passion for learning in every student. CLF equips teachers, leaders, and organizations with the knowledge, tools, guidance, and resources to drive improvement outcomes while creating the conditions to innovate together, share knowledge, and explore new possibilities.  CLF works to accelerate the achievement of a high-quality K-12 educational system that ensures the success of every educator, leader and student.
 
About National Math and Science Initiative: NMSI, a non-profit organization, was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to transform education in the United States. NMSI has received national recognition for training K-12 teachers and improving student performance through the rapid expansion of these highly successful programs: NMSI's Comprehensive AP program, NMSI Teacher Training program, and UT Austin’s UTeach program.  Inaugural funding for NMSI was provided by the Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information, visit www.nms.org.
 
*Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board.