Thursday, August 23, 2012

Military Families WIN

Today I will be hanging with Governor Fallin and Superintendent Baresi in Oklahoma celebrating some incredible results for students of military families through our program.  It is an honor. 

From the press release: 
National Mathand Science announced today that two Oklahoma City high schools that are participating in the Initiative for  Military Families - Carl Albert and Eisenhower High Schools -  have produced a combined 69 percent increase in qualifying scores on Advanced Placement* math, science and English scores in the first year of the program – 26 times the rest of the state’s average.

“These results are phenomenal.  They will open doors to college for these students, who have sacrificed while their parents have been serving our country,” said Gregg Fleisher, Senior Vice President of National Math and Science.  “We are so grateful to Northrop Grumman for providing the support to bring this program to Oklahoma.  This is giving students here the skills they will need to succeed in a more complicated world.”

Fleisher pointed out that the two IMF schools accounted for 35 percent of the state’s increase in qualifying AP math, science and English scores.  Eisenhower led the state in qualifying scores in AP math, science and English among African Americans and Hispanics.  And Carl Albert High School was one of the state’s top achievers, with a 254 percent increase in qualifying scores in AP math and science exams.

The IMF has significantly increased the number of students enrolling in AP math, science, and English courses at the Oklahoma City schools:
  • More students took an AP math, science, or English (MSE) course in the first year of the program (494 in 2011-2012) than were enrolled in an AP MSE course the previous year (343 in 2010-2011).
  • Enrollment for the upcoming 2012-13 school year indicates a 117 percent increase in enrollment (from 343 to 744 students ) from the year before the program began.
“We know how important science and math are to our nation’s future and the innovations and technologies of tomorrow. It’s a national imperative that we strengthen our knowledge base in these vital areas. Our children are the scientists and engineers who will imagine and design the future,” said Greg Schmidt, Vice President and General Manager for Northrop Grumman.

Although the IMF targets military dependents of Fort Sill personnel, the program is open to all EHS and Albert high school students who are eligible for Advanced Placement classes. The Northrop funding includes incentives for students, teachers and the high school based on performance by students on AP exams in those areas.  Requirements include additional class time outside of normal school hours and additional training for teachers. 

 “This program is a win-win because it does not cost the school district any money and produces unparalleled increases in the number of students passing AP math, science and exams,” said Dale Fleury, Regional AP Director for National Math and Science.

The overall goal of IMF is to support children in America’s military families by providing consistent, quality coursework through National Math and Science’s highly successful Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP).  Access to the college-level courses gives students the opportunity to earn college credit for advanced coursework and significantly increases their chances of succeeding in college.  Students who pass an AP exam are three times more likely to complete their college education.

The IMF was launched in 2010 in four school sites, two near Fort Campbell in Kentucky and two near Fort Hood in Texas, and was expanded in fall 2011 to a total of 29 high schools in 10 states that are serving high concentrations of students from military families. In fall 2012, the IMF program will be implemented in 52 high schools in 15 states. 

Almost two million young people in America have a parent serving in the military today.  More than 220,000 of those young people have at least one parent deployed overseas. The long separations, concerns about safety, and frequent transfers can be particularly hard on the children whose parents protect our country.  Many students in military families are transferred six to nine times during their school career – often two times in high school. Each move means a transition with a new school system and new standards. Because the AP curriculum is uniform across the country, the IMF provides excellence and continuity for students whenever and wherever their families are transferred.

Generous inaugural funding to launch the IMF in 2010 was provided by Lockheed Martin Corporation. Major funding to add high schools is being provided by the Army Education Outreach Program, BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), the Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation,  and the Office of Naval Research as well as Northrop Grumman.

With additional funding, it is anticipated the IMF can be expanded to 150 public high schools, ensuring that a very high percentage of military families will be served.