|Crete-Monee SD 201U
|As a result of our work, our AP enrollment for our first year increased 231%. For 2017-2018 we have over 500 students taking AP courses. Not only did we increase the number of students who were underrepresented, we increased the number of students from all demographic groups. This is important to us because we want Advanced Placement to be a program for all students.
Our Reason for Tackling AP/IB Equity Work
Prior to partnering with EOS, our AP enrollment process was very traditional. Students with high grades and test scores were considered for AP courses. Consequently, our high school demographics were not reflected in our AP enrollment. We knew the data on the AP experience showed that students who participate in AP coursework are more successful post-secondary. The opportunity to tackle equity work at our high school came at the same time our middle school began its journey to become an authorized IB World School. We loved the idea that the equity work at the high school would parallel the IB work at the middle school. By the time our first group of IB middle school students entered high school, they would have an equally rigorous academic program waiting for them. Expanding challenging learning opportunities for all 6-12 students at the same time would benefit everyone – our students, staff, and communities. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.
The Most Inspiring Aspect of the Work
From a district perspective, the willingness of our teachers and administrators to embrace the idea, examine their belief systems, and put structures in place to ensure students are successful.
Who Benefits Most
Our students received the greatest benefit from the work. We learned more about our students through the survey data and their interactions with significant adults. This, in turn, allowed us to design an AP support program to ensure their success. A review of our first semester grade distribution for this year shows that the percentage of students earning grades of A through F in AP courses remained unchanged from previous years. This means that our new AP students are right where they need to be!
The mindset that AP is only for certain students translates into exclusionary practices. Changing the mindset allows you to better know your students and to find unidentified potential.