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National Math and Science Initiative Turning the Tide in U.S. Math and Science Education

Abstract

"With the recent release of third-year results from its Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP), the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) has demonstrated continued success in substantially improving student achievement across the country in rigorous, college-level math and science coursework. The results confirm NMSI is increasing college access for more American students, which is critical to address the skills gap in today's workforce in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Schools participating in the NMSI-supported AP program the last three years have recorded triple-digit increases in the number of qualifying scores based on newly released College Board data:

  • A 124 percent increase in passing exams in AP math, science and English among all students, compared to a 23 percent increase nationally over the same period of time;

  • A 216 percent increase in passing exams in AP math, science and English among African-American and Hispanic students, compared to 50 percent nationally;

  • A 144 percent increase in passing exams in AP math and science among female students, compared to 20 percent nationally.

Research indicates that students passing AP courses in high school are much more likely to complete a college degree -- and even those who do not pass benefit from the rigorous curriculum and are better prepared for college. Further, AP students are among the few American students comparing favorably with their counterparts in other countries in educational rankings. "In today's highly competitive, high-tech world, the next generation of leaders and innovators must have a mastery of science, technology, engineering and math," said Mary Ann Rankin, CEO of NMSI. "This program is equipping our students to better compete on the global stage, which is essential to the future of our country." NMSI, a non-profit organization, launched APTIP during the 2008-2009 school year in 67 public high schools. This fall, the NMSI program will be implemented in a record 310 public schools in six states (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia). In addition, NMSI is expanding the AP program - through the Initiative for Military Families (IMF) - to 34 high schools located near military bases in 12 states. As of September 2011, NMSI will also have trained more than 8,000 teachers as part of the enhanced professional development that is at the core of APTIP, which also includes on-going support from master teachers for AP teachers in the classroom. "

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