Apr 09, 2015

Department Releases Guidebook to Expand AP®, Dual Enrollment, and Jump Start in 2015-2016

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today announced Advanced Placement (AP®) course enrollments surged for the 2014-2015 school year. Louisiana students enrolled in 33,231 AP® courses, an 18.6 percentage point increase from 28,009 enrollments in 2013-2014. As part of the overall strategy to support the expansion of AP®, Dual Enrollment, and Jump Start opportunities for students, the Department released an updated High School Student Planning Guidebook: A Pathway to Prosperity for Every Student for the 2015-2016 school year. The Guidebook is a series of short documents showing administrators, professional school counselors, and teachers how to use key policies, programs, and resources to better help students and schools achieve their goals.

“There is no one plan for each student’s life. Likewise, each teacher needs different supports, and each school has goals all its own. Louisiana Believes starts with the idea that those closest to students – parents, teachers, and administrators – should be trusted to determine the best path for children. This Guidebook serves as a tool for them to use in carrying out that most important of missions,” said State Superintendent John White.

The Guidebook outlines the necessary building blocks to provide students appropriate access to these opportunities:

  • Planning for struggling students in the Transitional 9th Grade.
  • Focusing 9th and 10th grade students on mastering a set of foundational academic skills.
  • Developing basic and advanced college and workplace skills in the 11th and 12th grades through Jump Start or the TOPS University Pathway.
  • Counseling and supporting students through the Supplemental Course Academy and the Statewide Counselor Assistance Center.
  • Earning recognition for school excellence through the high school accountability system.

The Department will conduct a series of webinars associated with the Guidebook for superintendents, principals, teachers, and professional school counselors. Webinars will be held each Tuesday in late April/early May, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • April 21: Guide Overview & Planning for Struggling Students
  • April 28: Guide Overview & 9th and 10th Grade Students
  • May 5: Guide Overview & Developing Advanced and Basic College and Workplace Skills
  • May 12: Guide Overview & Counseling, Supports, Rewards

“We are excited the Department is releasing a High School Planning Guide for 2015-2016. This is a great tool for our principals and professional school counselors to achieve goals with their students,” said Dr. Alonzo Luce, St. James Parish superintendent.

Over the last four years the number of AP® course enrollments has nearly doubled, increasing 89.5 percent from 17,540 in 2011-2012. Increased participation is leading to increased numbers of students scoring high enough to earn college credit. The number of students scoring three or higher increased 24.6 percent in 2014 – from 5,144 in 2013 to 6,410 in 2014. Since 2012, this number has increased 52 percent from 4,112.

Louisiana continues to implement a multi-faceted, comprehensive strategy to support Advanced Placement teachers and students:

  • Linking AP® results to school accountability by recognizing a passing AP® score (3 to 5) as the highest level of achievement earned by a cohort graduate, earning the maximum 150 points in the graduation index.
  • Paying for test fees for all students taking AP® exams who meet the criteria for low-income students and for students taking exams new to their school, because every child should have the opportunity to succeed.
  • Providing increased access to AP® courses through the MFP-funded Supplemental Course Allocation.
  • Providing funding for teachers and administrators taking part in summer AP® training, with more than 350 educators across the state participating this year.
  • Creating incentives for students to take more rigorous AP® courses by giving courses approved by the state additional weight in the calculation of the GPA qualifying students for TOPS college scholarships.

Advanced Placement® courses offer students the opportunity to earn college credit by taking rigorous courses in high school. Students who demonstrate mastery of the material on a national standardized end-of-course exam – a score of 3 or higher out of 5 – may earn college credit for the course, while still in high school.

Accomplishments in Louisiana’s High Schools

  • Louisiana’s four-year high school cohort graduation rate increased to a record high of 74.6 percent in 2014, a 1.1 percentage point increase from 2013 and a 3.2 percentage point increase since 2011. In the class of 2014, nearly 1,600 more students graduated than did in the class of 2013, and nearly 3,440 more students than in 2011.
  • The class of 2014 also saw a record high number of public high school graduates matriculating to college. From 2013 to 2014, the number of graduates enrolling in college increased six percent, from 21,744 in 2013 to 22,972 in 2014. Since 2011, that number has increased by 3,146 students, or 16 percent, from 19,826.

  • AP® is leading to dramatic increases for African-American students, who have realized increases in tests scoring 3 or higher by 89 percent over the last two years. Likewise, the number of African-American high school students taking AP® tests increased 137 percent over the last two years.

  • For the second consecutive year the number of high school seniors earning a score of 18 or higher on the ACT increased, leading to more graduates entering college without needing to take remedial courses. The class of 2014 saw 23,560 students post a college-going score, an increase of 1,472 students from 2013 and an increase of 5,253 since 2012.

To view a digital copy of the High School Student Planning Guidebook: A Pathway to Prosperity for Every Student, please click here.

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