|Lebanon Community School District
|The game changer for us was to stop telling
adults in the system what we believed and go straight to the students and act on those beliefs through one-on-one conversations and build systems to support
ALL STUDENTS taking rigorous courses.
Our Reason for Tackling AP/IB Equity Work
We decided to take on this work because we have been an underperforming comprehensive high school. We believed that increasing access to rigorous coursework for ALL STUDENTS would be essential for our turnaround efforts.
The Most Inspiring Aspect of the Work
Eight years ago when I became superintendent, we had very little participation in the AP program—as little as 5 students. With strong board support, we began promoting the importance of taking AP courses and building them into the curriculum. Still, after a few years of consistent effort, we only had 54 students participating (2012).
We began the work with EOS around the same time as we began our work with AVID, and during the last three years, we have seen AP exam participation grow to 184 students—14% of our student body. The game changer for us was to stop telling adults in the system what we believed and go straight to the students and act on those beliefs through one-on-one conversations and build systems to support ALL STUDENTS taking rigorous courses.
Who Benefits Most
Students of color and students in poverty are benefiting the most. We are among the elite high schools in the country that have proven racial opportunity gaps can be closed. Our AP participation rates mirror the demographics of our school (18% students of color). As a result of our efforts, we have seen the racial graduation gap erased as well. We still have disparities to reduce in the areas of male and female, and students in poverty (60%), and special education (14%).
Do more than talk about it. Deliver results. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you have solved the problem because you are talking about it. Keep working at it until you see results and then keep working at it to keep the results you get and can prove to others it can be done over time. Change the culture, change the world.