AP Training Program Adds Schools, Faces Funding Challenges
FRANKFORT, Ky. - An effort to boost the number of Kentucky high school students taking Advanced Placement classes and passing the end-of-year exams could be hampered by a lack of funding. The state Board of Education heard an update Wednesday on AdvanceKentucky, a program that trains teachers and offers incentives for achieving qualifying scores.Ten schools will be part of the newest AdvanceKentucky cohort this fall, but that represents the smallest number to join since the program began five years ago.
“It’s not because we don’t have a long waiting list of schools that would like to participate, but we’ve just had to slow our scale model down because of the initial cost that it takes to get involved,” said Felicia Smith, an Associate Commissioner with the Kentucky Department of Education.
It takes about $100,000 per school to launch the AdvanceKentucky program. Much of that funding came from a $13 million grant from the National Math & Science Initiative, but it will be used up by this fall.
Gregg Fleisher, Chief Program officer at NMSI, says continued investment in AdvanceKentucky will yield positive results.
“Since AdvanceKentucky has been in the program, Kentucky ranks first in the country for the percentage increase in the number of students passing Advanced Placement exams. First in the country,” Fleisher told board members.
Education officials plan to use some federal money and seek more state support to help continue AdvanceKentucky, which has worked with 42 percent of high schools across the state.
The ten high schools joining the latest cohort of Advance Kentucky participants are Bullitt Central, North Bullitt, East Carter, Madison Central, Madison Southern, McCracken County, Holmes High School in northern Kentucky; and Fern Creek, Seneca, and Southern High School, which are in Jefferson County.