Demopolis High boosts AP student achievement by 40 percent

Demopolis High School announced its first year of growth in Advanced Placement*(AP) results, indicating a 40% percent increase in the number of qualifying scores achieved by students in AP math, science and English tests. In 2013-2014, Demopolis High School increased its number of AP class offerings from 5 to 9, and 91 more students participated in rigorous AP classes than the year prior.

“Partnering with A+ College Ready and the National Math and Science Initiative through this College and Career Readiness grant has required true sacrifice and commitment from our teachers and our students. I believe that this year’s AP qualifying score growth validates the hard work of our teachers and students in extra summer trainings as well as in the classroom. These increases are proof that our students are the ones benefitting from instituting real change in our curriculum, programs, and classroom instruction.” Leslie Gibbs—AP Language and Composition teacher, A+ College Ready grant coordinator

“I am extremely proud of our students’ achievement in the ALSDE/A+ College Ready Program. A 40% increase is significant in that our students were prepared well for their exams by their AP teachers. We will continue to offer AP courses that give our college bound students an opportunity to receive college credit for advanced courses taken in high school.”     Dr. Tony Speegle, Demopolis High School principal

Driving the increases in student achievement is the implementation of the ALSDE/A+ College Ready AP Program, which Demopolis High School began implementing in 2013. The goal of A+ College Ready is to boost student enrollment and achievement, particularly for under-represented student groups in rigorous AP courses – an indicator of college success.

At a special event held at the Alabama State Capitol August 27th, Governor Robert Bentley and Dr. Tommy Bice, the Alabama State Superintendent of Education, announced that Alabama ranks #1 in the nation in percent increase in math, science, and English qualifying scores. The State Department of Education has invested heavily in the AP initiative, which is implemented through a partnership with A+ College Ready.

Governor Bentley congratulated the AP students and teachers saying, “Alabama students are succeeding in AP classes at unprecedented rates. A+ College Ready is a good investment that is preparing our students for college-level courses and career. It is a good day in Alabama when we see so many of our students from different backgrounds succeeding in AP courses.”

The Alabama Legislature and The State Department of Education now provide significant funds for the AP Initiative, building on initial investments from the private sector, including the National Math and Science Initiative, Alabama Power Foundation, Regions Inc., Boeing and ExxonMobil, along with other corporations, foundations and individual donors across the state.

In 2014-15, The ALSDE/A+ College Ready AP Initiative will support 118 schools in 54 Districts, with over 25,000 student enrollments, providing increased time on task through special study sessions and intensive teacher training, support from master teachers, and stipends for teachers and students. The AP Initiative works closely with the Alabama Math Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) and the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) to assist all Alabama students in meeting the state’s College and Career Ready Standards.

A celebration will be held at a later date to award 35 students monetary incentives for achieving qualifying scores on their AP exams in the spring of 2014.