CARROLLTON, Texas - It's not very often that hundreds of teenagers will cheer about math and science. But that is exactly what happened today at an R.L. Turner high school pep rally, where band members, cheerleaders and football players alike celebrated academic achievement.
"It is a thrill to see the enthusiasm so many students have for higher-level academic achievement and we are proud to invest in their future," said Andy Rittler, corporate affairs director for the LBJ Express project, which provided a half million dollar grant to support AP math and science initiatives at R.L. Turner. "Placing such a high priority on learning bodes well for the future of these students and also for the future of our state and nation."
Today's event marked the official launch of the nationally-recognized and successful Advanced Placement Training & Initiative Program (APTIP) at R.L. Turner High School in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, funded by a $502,250 grant from the LBJ Express transportation project. APTIP, a hallmark program of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and AP Strategies, has helped to spur dramatic increases in U.S. student achievement in AP math and science courses.
But the message to students appealed beyond their desire to get good grades; "Show me the money," was the recurring theme that caught the attention of the teens, including sophomore AP student Emanuel Martinez, who won $100 in cash in a surprise drawing at the celebration.
"The average cost of a college course is about $2,500," said Charlotte Carlisle, president of AP Strategies. "By passing the AP test, you earn that college credit and save yourself thousands of dollars in tuition."
She also noted that students spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to prepare for college placement exams. "Hold on to your money," said Ms. Carlisle. "We're bringing top college board instructors here to R.L. Turner to help you learn how to succeed on your college exams."
In addition to the college board instructors, the five-year grant from the LBJ Express project is funding teacher training and support, equipment and supplies, and financial incentives to reward students for their hard work and achievement.
NMSI's national AP program is based on a proven model that was developed in 1999 by Dallasbased AP Strategies, which is administering the program at R.L. Turner High School, along with 77 other schools across Texas. The program utilizes a combination of intensive teacher training, open enrollment, preparatory classes for students and financial incentives for teachers and students to boost student achievement. In the last two years, the APTIP has produced a 97 percent increase in AP math, science and English exams passed by students in participating schools â€“ seven times the national average. In addition, the number of AP exams passed by participating minority and female students has increased 155 percent and 116 percent, respectively.
About the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI)
NMSI was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to reverse the United States' troubling decline in math and science education. NMSI is focused on improving the American public school system by replicating programs nationally that have documented success: the AP Training and Incentive Program (APTIP) to expand the number of high school students mastering college-level Advanced Placement* courses, and UTeach, a program to recruit and prepare college students to become qualified math, science and computer science teachers. Founding sponsors for NMSI include Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information, please visit www.NationalMathandScience.org.
About AP Strategies
Advanced Placement Strategies, Inc. (APS) is a non-profit corporation that works with Texas schools and the private sector to manage Advanced Placement Incentive Programs for students, teachers, and schools. Launched in August 2000 by an individual donor, APS develops and manages AP Incentive Programs throughout the State of Texas through partnerships between Texas schools, businesses, and the philanthropic community. For more information, please visit www.APStrategies.org.
About the LBJ Express
The 17-mile LBJ Express project in Dallas encompasses improvements along I-635 from Luna Road to Greenville Avenue, as well as on I-35E between Loop 12 and Valwood Parkway. When complete in late 2015, the LBJ Express will dramatically increase the capacity of the current roadway and reduce traffic congestion. The LBJ Express is a project of the LBJ Infrastructure Group LLC, comprised of Cintra US, Meridiam Infrastructure and the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System. The Contractor for the project is Trinity Infrastructure, a collaboration between Ferrovial Agroman and Texas-based Webber. Learn more at www.LBJExpress.com or contact Andy Rittler at (469) 759-0238.