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National Math Science Initiative Boosts College Readiness for More Than 13,000 Students Nationwide, Based on 2013,14 Advanced Placement Exam Results

DALLAS – The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) boosted student enrollment in college-level math, science and English courses by more than 50,000 in the 2013-14 school year. Based on the most recent data from the College Board, NMSI’s College Readiness Program—working in just 566 schools—also raised the number of Advanced Placement* qualifying exam scores by more than 18,500 exams, representing more than 13,000 additional students who are better prepared for college after this past school year.

Without NMSI’s efforts, these 566 schools would have otherwise increased their number of qualifying exam scores by fewer than 1,400—representing about 1,000 students—based on the national rate of increase for each year of program participation.
 
AP exam scores of three or higher (on a five-point scale) qualify students for college credit at many colleges and universities across the country and are a prime indicator of whether students are adequately prepared for college and whether they will succeed when they get there. Students who master AP courses in high school are three times more likely to graduate from college. For minority students, that multiplier is even greater: African-American and Hispanic students who succeed in AP courses are four times more likely to graduate from college.
 
Since the inception of the three-year College Readiness Program in 2008, NMSI has boosted student enrollment in AP math, science and English classes by nearly 200,000, and has raised the number of qualifying exam scores by more than 66,000 exams, representing more than 45,000 students. Without NMSI’s program, AP course enrollments would have increased by only 13,400, and the number of qualifying exams would have increased by about 5,400, representing roughly 3,800 students.


“Earning a college degree is the single most important factor influencing economic opportunity and social mobility for our young people, and introducing high school students to a more demanding curriculum is a critical component to prepare them for success down the road,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, CEO of NMSI. “We are making measurable, sustainable and scalable progress in improving college readiness among our nation’s students.”
 
Proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is crucial to our country’s ability to remain competitive in the global economy of the 21st century. NMSI’s College Readiness Program is addressing this urgent need by partnering with schools that are committed to raising the academic bar and working with teachers, students and administrators to set and achieve aggressive performance goals.  The program’s key elements of success include shared accountability and goal setting with schools, intensive teacher training and support with expert mentors, more time on task for students through tutoring and study sessions, open enrollment to broaden student participation, and achievement-based awards for teachers and students.NMSI College Readiness Program results 2013-14
 
Based on the College Board data, the first-year increase in qualifying math, science and English exam scores among NMSI partner schools is 68 percent—10 times the national average of 6.8 percent (see accompanying graph). Performance among traditionally underserved students in the NMSI program is equally impressive: The first-year increase in qualifying scores in math and science among African-American and Hispanic students is 93 percent, nearly 9 times the national average. For female students, the increase is 79 percent, more than 10 times the national average.

As part of this year’s analysis, NMSI noted several exceptional results among schools that started the program in school year 2013-14:
 
•NMSI’s two partner schools in Mississippi (Ocean Springs High School and Biloxi High School) accounted for 14% of all qualifying math, science and English scores in the state and 54% of the entire state’s increase in qualifying math, science and English scores. Ocean Springs achieved the greatest first-year improvement at any school in the history of the College Readiness Program (195 qualifying scores, up from 18).

•In New York City, 39 schools that had no qualifying AP scores in 2012-13 achieved 196 qualifying scores.

•In Pittsburgh, NMSI’s two partner schools—Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy and Brashear High School—ranked first and second in the state with respect to percent increase in qualifying scores in math and science (among 289 schools with at least 9 qualifying scores in 2012-13).

Since 2008, NMSI’s College Readiness Program has been implemented in more than 620 schools across 26 states and the District of Columbia.

About National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI): 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 highly successful programs: NMSI's College Readiness Program, NMSI’s Laying the Foundation Teacher Training Program and NMSI’s UTeach Expansion Program. Inaugural funding for NMSI was provided by the ExxonMobil Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information, visit www.nms.org.
 

*Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board.
 
Media Contact:
Tara Marathe
Director of Communications
214-346-1245