RHS, LCHS selected to join AdvanceKentucky
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

Russellville and Logan County high schools are two of the 16 schools in the state which are joining AdvanceKentucky, bringing to 80 the number of high schools involved in the AP Training and Incentive Program (APTIF).

This successful program involves content-rich teacher training and extensive support and incentives for students and teachers for achieving qualifying scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams in math, science and English.

See www.advanceky.com for the “Elements of Success” comprising this model.

AdvanceKentucky is funded by a $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), which is supported by ExxonMobil, Dell and Gates Foundations, Lockheed and others. The Kentucky Department of Education is providing $500,000 for expansion to new schools like LCHS and RHS during the 2012-13 school year. Other Kentucky sponsors are Berea College, ExxonMobil/Initiative for Military Families, Appalachian Regional Commission, Council on Postsecondary Education, and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

Leon Smith, superintendent of Russellville Independent Schools, told teachers and board of education members: “AdvanceKY will have an impact on our students in grades 6-12. We have made some great strides in our academic success at RHS, and this program will help us continue the climb to greater success. It will take a lot of hard work and commitment but the high schools who have participated in the program the past one to four years have seen improvements in their academic success! “

The NMSI model has demonstrated its proven ability in Kentucky schools to dramatically increase access to and accelerate successful learning in rigorous math, science and English courses, as shown by qualifying socres on AP exams, particularly among underrepresented student populations. With over 3,500 qualifying scores earned on the most recent 2011 AP exams, the 44 AdvanceKentucky schools alone contributed 83 percent of all new qualifying scores earned across Kentucky and 68 percent of new qualifying scores earned by minority students. For the second consecutive year, Kentucky surpassed the national growth rate of minority performance on theses scores.

“This program will provide more teachers with formal training from The College Board and Advanced Placement courses and students with more opportunities to pass the AP exams in May of 2013 as outlined in the press release,” said LCHS Principal Casey Jaynes. “Along with our emphasis on dual credit programs with WKU, BGTC and our local RATC, this program will help provide our students with another rigorous curriculum offering. As we prepare each student for college and career readiness it is one of our goals to have every student graduate with some form of post secondary class or credit on their transcript.

“The 'Laying the Foundation' program provided by AdvanceKentucky will partner with our involvement in the Education for All program with the National Center for Education and the Economy. This will provide an increase in the difficulty of the curriculum for all of our freshmen and sophomores, which will prepare them for college level work as juniors and seniors.”

LCHS currently has five AP courses with 246 students enrolled. Preliminary numbers for scheduling for next school year and the opportunity to work with AdvanceKentucky will lead to nine AP courses scheduled and about 350 students enrolled, Jaynes says.

Other schools from this area joining the program this year are Clinton County, Dawson Springs, Murray and Owensboro. Already aboard were Allen County=Scottsville, Apollo, Barren County, Bowling Green, Christian County, Daviess County, Franklin-Simpson, Glasgow, Hancock County, Hopkinsville, McLean County, Trigg County, Warren Central and Warren East.

“We are pleased to be a part of the phenomenal expansion of AP efforts in Kentucky,” said Mary Ann Rankin, CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative. “We are grateful to ExxonMobil and our many sponsors—and particularly to the many supporters in Kentucky that are helping to prepare so many more young students for college and career success.”

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