African American Males Are Equally Intelligent: Increasing Academic Rigor Through Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
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African American Males Are Equally Intelligent: Increasing Academic Rigor Through Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

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This workshop will discuss the advantages of African American males enrolled into rigorous courses, such as Advanced Placement (AP). Research has demonstrated that these students are more likely to do ...

This workshop will discuss the advantages of African American males enrolled into rigorous courses, such as Advanced Placement (AP). Research has demonstrated that these students are more likely to do well and graduate high school. Additionally, AP students increase their opportunities to earn college scholarships and graduate college in four years. Workshop participants will acquire knowledge that will encourage African American males to accept the challenge of academic rigor, which can help to minimize the academic achievement gap.

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African American Males Are Equally Intelligent: Increasing Academic Rigor Through Advanced Placement (AP) Courses Presentation Transcript

  • 1. African American Males Are Equally Intelligent: Increasing Academic Rigor Through Advanced Placement (AP) Courses James M. Thompson, PhD AP Science Teacher Specialist Mary Gay Taylor, NBCT AP English/Language Arts Teacher Specialist
  • 2. Abstract
    • This workshop will discuss the advantages of African American males enrolled into rigorous courses, such as Advanced Placement (AP). Research has demonstrated that these students are more likely to do well and graduate high school. Additionally, AP students increase their opportunities to earn college scholarships and graduate college in four years. Workshop participants will acquire knowledge that will encourage African American males to accept the challenge of academic rigor, which can help to minimize the academic achievement gap.
  • 3. Staggering Statistics
    • Lancaster County School District – 5 th highest dropout rate (38%) in South Carolina
    • Minority Students – 2 nd highest dropout rate in South Carolina
    • South Carolina ranks last in nation in SAT scores
    • Lancaster County School District is below the state average in SAT scores
  • 4. Possible Solutions
    • Encourage students to enroll into rigorous courses beginning in middle school and through high school
    • Promote a non-threatening learning environment that encourages all students to “love school”
    • Encourage students to excel in all of their classes, graduate high school, and enter college
  • 5. Advanced Placement Initiative Program
    • There are three goals:
    • Increase academic performance for students, especially minority and low-income students at the target schools and relative to pre-AP and AP coursework.
    • Provide teachers with the skills to teach to high standards while using a variety of strategies to develop higher order thinking skills.
    • Increase student, parent, and community awareness of the importance of AP coursework.
  • 6. AP Program Success 2006-2007 2007-2008 Percent Increase Number of AP Courses Offered 5 9 180% Number of participants 105 134 127% Number of low income students 14 50 357% AP tests taken 105 111 106%
  • 7. AP Course Offerings
    • Biology
    • Calculus
    • Chemistry
    • English
    • French
    • U.S. Government
    • History
    • Macro-economics
    • Micro-economics
    • Psychology
    • Art
    Some AP courses are offered online through Apex Learning.
  • 8. AP Program Success School Total Number of AP tests taken in May 2007 Total Number of AP tests taken in May 2007 with a Score of 3 or higher Total number of students enrolled in the 12 th grade during the 2006-2007 school year Lancaster High 80 47 458 Andrew Jackson High 31 11 130
  • 9. Did you know . . .
    • If you earn a high school diploma , you’re likely to earn $7,000 more annually than students who don’t complete high school.
    • But if you earn a bachelor’s degree in college , you’re likely to earn $22,000 more annually.
    Source: U.S. Department of Education, 2000
  • 10.
    • Advanced Placement Program ® (AP ® ) courses give you a head start on college.
    • Taking the end-of-course AP Exam sends a powerful message to colleges and universities that a student is ready for them, and can enable students to gain admission, college credit, and placement into advanced courses.
  • 11. Prepare Now to Succeed in College
    • A 1999 U.S. Department of Education study found that the strongest predictor of college graduation is something students do before they ever go to college:
    • Participate in rigorous, college-level courses in high school—and AP courses in particular.
    • Clifford Adelman, Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment (1999), U.S. Department of Education.
  • 12.
    • Over 50% of college freshmen who receive the LIFE scholarship lose it after the first year!
  • 13.
    • Students who take AP courses and score 3,4, or 5 have a
    • 28-33% better chance of graduating from college.
  • 14.
    • Even those who make less than 3 have a 22% better chance of graduating from college!
    • It’s all about accepting the challenge of a rigorous course!
  • 15. What our students are saying: “ AP courses are a blessing. Having AP credit when you enter college lightens your workload tremendously. I wish that I had had the opportunity to take more AP courses like so many of my college classmates who are able to take fewer hours in college each semester than me.” Adrian Mood 2006 LHS Graduate Howard University Student
  • 16. AP Equity Policy Statement:
    • “ All students who are willing to accept the challenge of a rigorous academic curriculum should be considered for admission to AP courses. The Board encourages the elimination of barriers that restrict access to AP courses for students from ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the AP Program. Schools should make every effort to ensure that their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population.”
  • 17. Lack of Participation
    • In general, some African American males do not participate in AP courses for various reasons and misconceptions , such as
    • Must be offered an invitation to take AP courses
    • A fee to take AP courses
    • “ Uncool” to excel in rigorous courses
    • Teachers’ failure to encourage minority students
    • Students are not preparing for AP courses as early as in middle school.
  • 18. WE must help to “eliminate the barriers” that are preventing African American males from taking full advantage of AP courses.
  • 19. Eliminating the Barriers
    • Currently, Lancaster County School District has taken various measures to “eliminate the barriers.”
    • AP Incentive Grant Project
    • After-school tutorial lab and summer programs
    • Closing the Achievement Gap Steering Committee
    • Dedicated and compassionate school administrators and teachers
    • Partnerships with Partners for Youth, USCL, and Adopt A Leader
  • 20. What’s Next…
    • As a parent/guardian, you can inquire on the following:
    • High school course guide (December)
    • AP course work at the 2009-2010 individual graduation plan conferences for 8 th , 9 th , and 10 th grade students
    • Waiver form option for preHonors/preAP courses in middle school (if students are not registered for courses designed to prepare them for AP level coursework)
  • 21. Question and Answer Session
  • 22. AP Teacher Specialists
    • Mary Gay Taylor, NBCT
    • AP English/Language Arts
    • Teacher Specialist
    • Andrew Jackson High School
    • mgtaylor@lcsd.k12.sc.us
    • (803) 475-2381
    • James M. Thompson, PhD
    • AP Science Teacher Specialist
    • Andrew Jackson High School
    • [email_address]
    • (803) 475-2381
    • Jo Ann Dorsey, NBCT
    • AP Math Teacher Specialist
    • Lancaster High School
    • jdorsey@lcsd.k12.sc.us
    • (803) 283-2001
    For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact one of the AP Teacher Specialists at the following: