AP Incentive Program Goals
Goal 1: Increase the participation of low-income students in rigorous courses designed to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in high school AP courses in math, science, and English in middle schools with high concentrations of low-income students.
Pre-AP critical thinking skills and study strategies taught in the middle school years develop the academic habits needed to be successful in the more rigorous high school courses.
Vertical Learning Communities are being developed. Middle school and high school teachers come together to plan a rigorous curriculum that aligns to the Delaware content standards. The College Board will provide the training. The development and use of pre-AP critical thinking skills and study strategies in the middle school years and in the early high school years will lead to greater success for students who enroll in AP courses later in high school.
Middle school teachers will be invited to attend pre-AP Summer Institute training sponsored by the College Board. Middle school counselors will be trained in counseling students from diverse backgrounds.
Goal 2: Increase the number of AP courses offered in math, science, English, and other subject areas in high schools with high concentration of low-income students.
Increasing the number of new AP courses taught in the high schools and expanding the number of existing AP courses offers greater access to all students.
Experienced AP teachers have attended the Summer Institutes sponsored by the College Board. New AP teachers will attend Summer Institutes sponsored by the College Board and have access to College Board consultants throughout the academic year. New and inexperienced AP teachers will have access to mentors through the AP Mentor Cadre.
Goal 3: Increase the number of low-income students completing AP courses, taking AP exams, and successfully passing AP exams in English, math, science, and other subjects.
The expansion of the AP programs in high schools affords more opportunities for low-income students to take advantage of rigorous academic courses.
AP teachers will be trained to use CRISS strategies and differentiated instruction in their classrooms to address the needs of a diverse student population. AP teachers will have access to the College Board workshops to analyze the PSAT test results, which will help identify students who should be successful in AP courses.
Students will be offered a variety of opportunities to improve their academic skills needed to succeed in AP courses.
Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) will provide funding for the AP tests for low-income students.
The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, the Parent Information Center, the First State Community Action, and the Latin American Community Center will be coordinating with DDOE.
Goal 4: Increase the capacity of districts, schools, and communities to support targeted schools in the implementation of rigorous coursework that leads to the successful completion of AP courses and exams.
In order for students to be successful in AP courses, they need to be supported by their family, as well as their school district's teachers, counselors, and administrators.
Districts will provide support for the Vertical Learning Communities. Counselors will participate in professional development used to guide and encourage minority and low-income students toward pre-AP and AP courses. Schools will provide support through after school programs, technology, or mentors.
Parental involvement is being supported with the involvement of the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, the Parent Information Center, the First State Community Action, and the Latin American Community Center.
The purpose of the Advanced Placement Incentive Program, funded by the Office of Education of the United States, is to coordinate a continuum of pre-AP and AP programs to support state and local efforts to raise academic standards for all students.
Delaware schools have a diverse population across ethnic and socioeconomic levels. Traditionally, minority and low-income students have not participated in honors courses during their middle school years, where academic skills are developed, nor have they participated in honors and AP courses in high school.
Increasing equity and access to high AP standards of learning helps students acquire the skills important in post-secondary education, and in the workplace. The Delaware partner schools participating in the AP Incentive Program and in PSAT testing have been proactively recruiting students of all ethnic populations and socioeconomic groups to enroll in honors, AP, and other advanced academic offerings.
Criteria and indicators to identify potential AP students have been established to help districts and schools in their process of identification of minority and low income students for pre-AP and AP courses.
The criteria to consider in identifying students are as follows:
- Selection should be based on professional judgment and a variety of indicators
- Students' interests and aptitudes should be considered
- Admission to the program should be open and ongoing
The multiple indicators for the identification are as follows:
- 8th, 9th , and 10th grade students who exceed the standards in relevant content areas in the DSTP
- 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students who meet or exceed the standards in relevant content areas in the DSTP
- Grade point average in relevant content areas
- PSAT scores when available
- SAT scores when available
In eighth, ninth and tenth grade students should exceed the standards in relevant content areas in the DSTP because they will have to attend pre-AP courses and succeed in AP classes in a relative shorter period of time. This year the high schools participating in PSAT testing of whole classes will be trained to use College Board AP Potential software to identify students with the potential to succeed in AP courses and tests.Closing the Achievement Gap
According to data published in Reaching Higher: 2002 Report and Plan For Closing The Achievement Gap, by time they reach grade twelve, African American, Hispanic, and poor students of all races have skills in reading, mathematics, and science similar to those of 13-year old white students. As a result of this gap, minority and low income students either do not pursue post secondary education or they encounter overwhelming difficulties if they do so.
The AP Incentive Program goals support the statewide effort to close the achievement gap as follows:
- High expectations and equitable opportunity of access to Pre-AP and AP classes challenges students at all levels regardless of their ethnic and socioeconomic group
- Appropriate training and teaching strategies offered by College Board Pre-AP and AP Institutes assist educators in setting high expectations for all students
- Successful practices of Pre-AP and AP programs in other states have been made available to Delaware educators through statewide secondary school summits and school improvement institutes
- College Board yearly reports and the support of Technology Management and Design at the Department of Education supports the effective monitoring of student achievement and helps meet the objectives mandated by the AP Incentive Program
It is the mission of the AP Incentive Program to continue to serve Delaware educators, students, and parents to build on the many benefits of the program. The efforts to close the achievement gap will continue and be enhanced by extending the program in a systematic way to all Delaware public schools. Equity and access to AP high standards of learning will help all students to begin their post secondary studies and achieve success and degree completion. In turn, they will be prepared with the skills needed for a productive and rewarding career.