Thursday, August 15, 2013

College Readiness in Alaska!

NMSI has expanded to Alaska - we trained hundreds of teachers and now we have 2 NMSI High Schools starting the program as a part of our goal to create centers of college readiness in schools that serve military families.

From the article in the Alaska Star
"a part of a public-private partnership, NMSI is funded by a slew of donors such as Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Company.

Student incentives aren’t limited to payouts. NMSI pays half of the AP exam fee for each student, Lang said, and foots the entire bill for students who receive free or reduced-price meals.

“That removes the economic barrier,” he said.

Teachers also stand to make financial gains from the program. AP teachers will be paid $100 per student who pass the math, science or English exams with a 3 or higher.

Teachers must provide 40 hours of before-or-after-school tutoring throughout the year for their AP students.

NMSI also provides teachers with AP training. In June, six ERHS teachers attended a seminar put on by College Board in Oklahoma City, Okla.

“It was very, very good training,” said AP English teacher Clinton Holloway.

In spring 2014, Holloway and his colleagues are headed to Dallas to witness how AP exams are graded. The simulation will provide teachers a better understanding of the test by getting a look at the assessment end, Lang said.

NMSI is also putting on three presentations during the year for Eagle River and Bartlett students and teachers, Lang said.

Holloway has mixed feelings on the cash incentives. It’s good encouragement for students, said Holloway, who suspects more kids will opt to take the exam.

“They don’t get paid to play per say,” Holloway said. “You have to pass the exam. I think that will be a powerful motivation.”

Large increases in scores to follow!