BY STORY SULLIVAN, STAFF WRITER
After months of anticipation, the 196 Wilson students who passed their English, math, or science AP exam taken last spring will be receiving their $100 checks. As promised, the checks will be delivered by mail at the end of October or beginning of November; courtesy of a federal grant.
Wilson received the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) grant from its College Readiness program back in the summer of 2013, which was just in time to be put in place for students preparing to take last year’s Spring AP exams.
According to the NMSI Communications Director Tara Marathe, the money will be distributed in the form of a check made out to the student and will be delivered any time between October and November. Marathe explains that in Wilson’s first year partnered with their College Readiness programs, AP exam scores have already gone up. “ In 2013, 57.8% of the students who took the AP Statistics exam received a passing score and in 2014, 59.4% of students received a passing score. (On AP tests, a passing score is three or higher.) AP Physics C: Mechanics AP test scores have also been raised by about 3%.”
Although the increases in passing scores are small now, as more students become aware of the incentives it will could increase the studying and passing rates.
Junior and AP English student Jaemison Tenwalde was not aware of the incentives for passing scores. “Knowing that I can earn money by doing well in my classes motivates me to study hard because I could really use the money to put towards college tuition and textbooks,” Tenwalde said.
While the incentives serve as motivation to students, they also reward teachers for hard work and effort. Teachers of AP math, science, or English courses will receive $1,000 bonuses for reaching a set goal of passing students and $100 for each additional student.
“Fourteen Wilson teachers will receive awards for the qualifying scores earned by their students and/or a stipend for attending NMSI-supported professional development and student study sessions,” Marthe said.
The ultimate purpose of the grant is to motivate students and teachers to get high AP test scores. The increase of passing scores on many AP tests in 2014 demonstrates that the NMSI College Readiness Program is motivating many students and preparing them for college-level classes and work.
**The National Math and Science Initiative is a partnership of business, academic, philanthropic and military organizations formed in 2007 to improve and advance high quality math and science education in the United States.
GRAPHIC BY JANE MARTIN, GRAPHIC DESIGNER