Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science, Inc., an affiliate of the National Math and Science Initiative, funded an Advanced Placement Training and Incentive program in ten schools beginning in August 2008. Under a competitive request for proposal process, Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science, Inc. will invite schools to apply for participation in the program. The goals of the program are to strengthen the teaching of the AP® mathematics, science, and English courses and to build enrollment and increase the number of students taking and earning qualifying scores on AP® exams in these subjects. Our goal is to continue the expansion of the program across the state.
Arkansas was one of seven states selected to receive a National Math and Science Initiative Grant in August, 2007. AR AIMS, Inc. is a non-profit corporation formed to administer the overall program.
The National Math and Science Initiative was formed to address one of this nation’s greatest economic and intellectual threats: the declining number of students who are prepared for and take rigorous college courses in mathematics and science. NMSI is funded by a partnership of private donors, led by ExxonMobil, who are interested in significantly changing the current trends.
A primary goal of NMSI and AR AIMS, Inc. is to increase the number of students taking and scoring 3 or higher on AP math, science and English exams. AR AIMS, Inc. will implement proven strategies to increase significantly the number of students taking and passing Advanced Placement courses and exams. These strategies were developed by Advanced Placement Strategies, Inc. of Texas and our Content Directors. In the schools that we serve, over a five year period, on average the number of students scoring 3 or higher on AP English has tripled, the number of students scoring 3 or higher on AP mathematics exams has quadrupled, and the number of students scoring 3 or higher on AP science exams has quintupled. The strategies included extensive formal and informal training of AP and Pre-AP teachers, additional time on task for students, incentives based on academic results, and cultivation of lead teachers to provide leadership to the Program in their schools by mentoring other AP and Pre-Ap Teachers.
Program features include:
- Voluntary participation on the part of students, teachers, and schools
- Annual incentives for [teachers, students, and schools] based on AP® Exam results
- Cultivation of teachers to mentor a vertical team of AP® and Pre-AP® teachers
- Advanced-level, content-focused training for teachers of AP® and Pre-AP® math, science and English courses
- More time on task for students, including face-to-face and online AP® exam prep sessions
- Measurement and accountability for results through professional management by Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science, Inc.
AP® Teachers are the key to the success of the program. They continuously strive to improve their teaching and expand their programs. They collaborate with Pre-AP® teachers to build a pipeline of students prepared for the rigors of AP®, establish goals for academic performance, emphasize the importance of every student taking the AP® exam, and encourage all students to attend special events. School administration is expected to provide necessary facilities, equipment, scheduling consideration, logistical assistance, and coordination of student advisement to help ensure the success of the program.