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A+ College Ready Curriculum Presents an Exciting Opportunity for Students
March 9, 2015 | Comments
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From its beginning, A+ College Ready has focused on the importance of rigorous science instruction for all students and all grade levels. This effort works in conjunction with the support we offer in math and English to provide a comprehensive approach to increase student achievement in all of our schools. The necessity for an increased focused on math and science specifically is based on years of research that shows fewer students are entering math and science related career fields. Additionally, national scores on math and science assessments like the ACT have been relatively stagnant the past few years. Alabama too has lagged behind national achievement on these measures.
For instance, there were 37,985 students in the graduating class of 2014 that took the ACT college entrance exam, or roughly 80% of all graduates. Of those students, only 31% met the Science benchmark score of 23, and equally only 31% met the Math benchmark of 22. By meeting the benchmark score, research shows that student has a 50% chance of earning a B in an entry-level college course of the same subject, and a 75% of earning a C. When considering this data, it is alarming to think that less than a third of Alabama’s high school graduates have a reasonable expectation of earning a B in their first college math and science courses. Realizing Alabama’s need for better preparation in these subjects, A+ College Ready set out to change these outcomes.
A+ College Ready has always been the sole provider of NMSI’s Laying the Foundation (LTF) training in Alabama, a method of highly-effective teaching strategies that promote critical thinking and deep content understanding. Teachers in our Program often say that this training is some of the best professional development that they have ever received, however, it can be difficult to incorporate these methods into their classroom. So, led by our expert Content Directors, we recruited some of the top teachers in the state to create a scope and sequence that incorporates these LTF lessons. These curricula are rigorous, aligned with Alabama’s College and Career Ready Standards, and will help prepare students for the work and thinking required in an Advanced Placement course.
To this point, these teams of Alabama teachers have created curriculum materials for 8th, 9th, and 10th grade English courses, 8th grade Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II with Trigonometry.  By the summer of 2015, 7th grade English, 7th grade Life Science, and 11th grade Pre-Calculus will also be completed. Thus, for the 2015-2016 school year, our schools have access to a complete pipeline of rigorous, CCRS-aligned curricula that lead from middle through Advanced Placement in high school.
Through anecdotes and hard data, we here at A+ College Ready know that implementing rigorous courses to fidelity better prepares students for the rigors of AP, college, and beyond. So, as more and more schools choose to strengthen their own college and career readiness programs, we happily join in that effort. We know that the students of Alabama are capable of amazing things, and through an increased focus on college readiness, open access to rigorous courses, and better prepared teachers we will see more and more of them succeeding. 
-If you are interested in learning more about NMSI’s Laying the Foundation Training for the summer of 2015, please reach out to collegeready@aplusala.org
-Feel free to look through the curricula here on our website.  [permalink for this post]
Alabama set to defend #1 Ranking!
February 5, 2015 | Comments
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Alabama led the nation in percent increase of qualifying scores on AP math, science in English exams during 2008-2014. In this guest post from Robert Summers, A+ College Ready Science Content Director, he explains why that honor may hold true this year too. [continue reading]
A+ College Ready New Year's Message
January 19, 2015 | Comments
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It is with warm regard that we at A+ College Ready welcome you back to a new semester and a new calendar year. The education landscape in Alabama experienced several changes in 2014, and we are excited about the possibilities these changes create for our students. Join us as we reflect on the past year. [continue reading]
A+ Education Partnership Presents ACT Aspire
December 10, 2014 | Comments
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A+ Education Partnership recently held a webinar for the media and other interested parties to talk about the changes Alabama will see with the results from the ACT Aspire that replaced the Alabama Reading and Math Test last spring. Thomas Rains, A+ Policy Director, provided a brief presentation on the new ACT Aspire assessments, how they differ from Alabama's past assessments and what to expect when the statewide results are released.... [continue reading]
New Resource from A+: Alabama Public Education at a Glance
December 8, 2014 | Comments
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A+ is proud to present its newest publication, Alabama Public Education at a Glance.

Download it here to browse through data and information on the performance of Alabama's schools. [continue reading]
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