Atlanta Public Schools partnership eyes AP access
- In an op-ed for District Administration, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Joel Carstarphen and National Math and Science Initiative CEO Matthew Randazzo detail how the district is making significant gains in college and career readiness by increasing access to rigorous AP coursework.
- The duo write that APS is one of nine districts in eight states partnering with the National Math and Science Initiative, which is part of a $20-million U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation 2015 grant designed to expand its College Readiness Program.
- For Atlanta, the partnership is expected to benefit the city's large population of underserved students, as the initiative's College Readiness Program has reportedly seen AP scores for African-American and Hispanic students rise six times higher than the national average at partner schools.
Graduating adequately prepared students is especially important for those students who matriculate on to higher ed — and in today's economy, some form of post-secondary degree, certificate or other training is almost a necessity. Many high school graduates currently begin college still needing remediation in a number of core subjects, preventing a significant amount from advancing beyond their first year. Highlighting the extent of the problem, at the City University of New York, a reported 80% of freshmen need remediation. But data tracking tools are making it easier to keep students on track, while blended programs are simplifying efforts to provide personalized intervention where students are struggling.
For Atlanta, advances made over the past two years are particularly welcome. In 2015, the district saw a highly-publicized test cheating scandal draw to a close. While that specter remains, the district's leaps toward better serving a large underserved student population will continue leaving those issues in the past as it forges ahead.
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