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North Dakota Students, Teachers To Benefit From National Math Science Initiative's College Readiness

BISMARCK, ND (December 10, 2015)--The National Math and Science Initiative’s (NMSI) College Readiness Program (CRP) today announced its expansion into North Dakota schools with an investment of up to $13 million from ExxonMobil, on behalf of XTO Energy Inc. CRP empowers school communities to improve participation and success in rigorous coursework to better prepare students for college and the STEM-intensive careers of the 21st century. NMSI will partner with districts across the state over the next several years to enhance teacher effectiveness and student performance.
“Supporting student achievement and ensuring our young people are equipped with the skills and resources to excel as tomorrow’s leaders are key to North Dakota’s continued success,” said Governor Jack Dalrymple. “Partnerships like this one, between business, education and community leaders, are essential to helping students reach their full potential and preparing them for the careers and opportunities of the future.”
CRP has proven to dramatically increase the number of students taking and earning qualifying scores on Advanced Placement® (AP) exams, while expanding access to challenging coursework. In just one year, NMSI’s program boosts the number of AP® qualifying scores in math, science and English in partner schools by ten times the national average and produces outstanding gains among female and minority students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. To date, CRP has expanded to nearly 800 schools across 30 states from coast to coast.
NMSI Chief Academic Officer Gregg Fleisher emphasized that CRP is an effective solution that helps close achievement gaps and prepares young people for the demands of college-level work and a rapidly changing workforce. “Without a doubt, AP is one of the most powerful tools we can use to prepare students for college,” he said.  About the expansion of CRP in North Dakota, he added, “There is an unmatched dedication to community in the state. It’s one of the reasons North Dakota is an ideal partner for NMSI.”
The investment and partnership with NMSI will equip North Dakota school communities with the resources and support they need to succeed. CRP’s comprehensive model provides extensive training for teachers, more time on task for students and equipment and supplies to support AP coursework. Greg Pulliam, Public and Government Affairs Manager for the Western Division of XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, noted that the success of North Dakota’s industries depends on the quality, ingenuity and diversity of its workforce: “We are all well aware that education is the fundamental building block for individual opportunity and economic growth, and we must equip young people with the knowledge and skills – particularly in math and science, which are drivers of 21st century jobs.”
Governor Dalrymple, local business and civic leaders, higher education representatives and educators gathered this morning for a press conference applauding the announcement of this new partnership with the state. Hosted by the Greater North Dakota Chamber at Bismarck’s Legacy High School, the event recognized the hard work of local educators and highlighted the need for community leaders to raise matching funds to reach every high school in the state in future years.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students and teachers,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler. “We are making a dedicated effort throughout North Dakota to improve student preparedness.”
Also in attendance this morning were Greater North Dakota Chamber Vice President of Governmental Affairs Jon Godfread and Bismarck Public Schools Superintendent Tamara Uselman along with Legacy High School Principal Tom Schmidt, who led a tour of the recently opened school.
About National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI)  
NMSI, a nonprofit 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 grade 3-12 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 ExxonMobil, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.  For more information, visit www.nms.org.
About ExxonMobil and XTO Energy
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. XTO is a leading natural gas and oil producer in the U.S. with expertise in developing tight gas, shale gas, coal bed methane and unconventional oil resources. XTO has operations in all major U.S. producing regions and holds more than 11 million acres. For more information, visit www.exxonmobil.com and www.xtoenergy.com.
ExxonMobil engages in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, with a focus on math and science in the United States, promote women as catalysts for economic development and combat malaria. Over the past 15 years, ExxonMobil has contributed more than $1 billion for education programs around the world.