RPS Inspiration by Jason Kamras
I have some absolutely fabulous academic news to share regarding our students’ Advanced Placement (AP) scores from last year. First, some context. One of the equity commitments I made in my 100-day entry plan was to launch AP for All, an initiative to broaden access to Advanced Placement offerings at our comprehensive high schools. As I’ve often said, we can’t expect greatness of our students if we don’t ask greatness of them. As a result of this effort – which is still growing – we saw big gains on a variety of key metrics:
• Number of students taking AP courses: up 25%!
• Number of AP exams taken: up 37%!
• Number of AP exams with qualifying scores (3, 4, or 5): up 42%!
• Number of AP exams with top two scores (4 or 5): up 63%!
The largest increases in qualifying scores were for Calculus AB, English Literature, Human Geography, Spanish Language, Statistics, US Government, and US History. In addition to the myriad academic benefits associated with taking an AP course, students who earn qualifying scores are eligible to receive college credit.
I cannot overstate how exciting this is, as AP is a nationally recognized standard of excellence. Of course, we need to keep pushing to make sure ALL of our students participate in this type of rigorous coursework. But it’s undeniable that we’re making progress!
Staffing – As of today, we have 14 teacher vacancies remaining (of roughly 2,000 total teacher positions). For reference, two years ago, RPS opened with 54 vacancies, and last year, we opened with 18. Of course, we’re continuing to work towards zero vacancies – and we’ll have substitutes to make sure every classroom is staffed. But I’d like to shout out the Talent Office, as well as our principals and principal directors, for continuing to make progress in this critical area!