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AP Program Update Midwest Regional Forum. February 11, 2008 Marcia Wilbur Executive Director, Curriculum & Content Development AP Program. July 29, 1956. July 29, 1956. Today’s Agenda . Introduction: Challenges in secondary school education What Does the Latest Research Indicate About AP?

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ap program update midwest regional forum

AP Program UpdateMidwest Regional Forum

February 11, 2008

Marcia Wilbur

Executive Director, Curriculum & Content Development

AP Program

slide2

July 29, 1956

July 29, 1956

today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • Introduction: Challenges in secondary school education
  • What Does the Latest Research Indicate About AP?
    • AP and admissions
    • AP and credit/placement
  • The AP community’s values, needs, and wants
    • AP teachers
    • College faculty
    • Students
  • AP Course Audit renewal process
  • AP Course & Exam Review
u s students fall behind in international comparisons and raise concerns for u s competitiveness
U.S. Students Fall Behind in International Comparisonsand Raise Concerns for U.S. Competitiveness

In 2006, U.S. ranked 35 out of 57 countries in mathematics

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

  • U.S. source for internationally comparative information on math and science literacy of students in the upper grades
  • Age 15
  • Assesses math and scientific literacy in terms of mastery of school curriculum, and important knowledge and skills needed for life
  • In 2006, more than 400,000 students from 57 countries making up close to 90% of the world economy took part in PISA 2006

Source: OECD, PISA 2006 database

u s students fall behind in international comparisons and raise concerns for u s competitiveness6
U.S. Students Fall Behind in International Comparisonsand Raise Concerns for U.S. Competitiveness

In 2006, U.S. ranked 29 out of 57 countries in science

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

  • U.S. source for internationally comparative information on math and science literacy of students in the upper grades
  • Age 15
  • Assesses math and scientific literacy in terms of mastery of school curriculum, and important knowledge and skills needed for life
  • In 2006, more than 400,000 students from 57 countries making up close to 90% of the world economy took part in PISA 2006

Source: OECD, PISA 2006 database

2006 pisa results
2006 PISA Results

“Teenagers in a majority of industrialized nations taking part in a leading international exam (PISA) showed greater scientific understanding than students in the United States—and they far surpassed their American peers in mathematics, in results that seem likely to add to recent consternation over U.S. students’ core academic skills.”

- Education Week (Published Online: December 4, 2007)

ap student performance in math
AP Student Performance in Math

Source: Gonzalez, E., O’Connor, K., & Miles, J. (2000). How well do Advanced Placement students perform on the TIMSS Advanced Mathematics and Physics Tests? Chestnut Hill, MA: The International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.

ap student performance in physics
AP Student Performance in Physics

Source: Gonzalez, E., O’Connor, K., & Miles, J. (2000). How well do Advanced Placement students perform on the TIMSS Advanced Mathematics and Physics Tests? Chestnut Hill, MA: The International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.

college eligible not college ready
College Eligible, not College Ready

Approximately 70% of all students in public high schools graduate, and only 32% of all students leave high school qualified to attend four-year colleges.

College readiness by ethnic group:

African American 20%

American Indian 14%

Asian American 38%

Hispanic 16%

White 37%

Source: Public High School Graduation and College Readiness Rates in the United States, 9/03, Funded: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Jay P. Greene, Ph.D.; Greg Forster, Ph.D., Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

slide11

Colleges have High Participation of Students in Remedial Courses

Percentage of First- and Second-Year Students Who Have Taken a Remedial Course Since High School Graduation by Type of Institution, 2003-04

Students earning a bachelor's degree

within 8 years, 2004

Leading predictor of whether a student will dropout

Estimated cost to the taxpayers is $1 billion

Note: “Remedial course” is defined as a developmental course intended to improve basic skills in English, mathematics, reading, study skills, or writing.

Sources: NPSAS: 2004 Undergraduates; College Board: Trends in College Pricing, 2006; NCES 2004a.

average time to degree exceeds 5 years for both public and private institutions
Average Time to Degree Exceeds 5 Years for Both Public and Private Institutions

Average years to complete a Bachelor’s degree by institution, 2000

Source: Wayne J. Camara, “College Persistence, Graduation, and Remediation,” College Board Research Notes RN-19, March 2003.

today s agenda13
Today’s Agenda
  • Introduction: Challenges in secondary school education
  • What Does the Latest Research Indicate About AP?
    • AP and admissions
    • AP and credit/placement
  • The AP community’s values, needs, and wants
    • AP teachers
    • College faculty
    • Students
  • AP Course Audit renewal process
  • AP Course & Exam Review
ap and college admissions
AP and College Admissions

In 2007, Crux Research interviewed admissions officers at colleges and universities nationwide, with a focus on institutions (selective and highly selective) whose applicants have higher-than-average numbers of AP courses.

slide15
Approximately 85% of Admissions Officers from selective institutions feel that AP experience helps them make decisions

AP course experience favorably impacts admissions decisions

About 85% of Admissions Officers from Selective Institutions

“We look favorably on students who have taken AP courses. The presence of AP courses is a sign that a student has chosen to challenge him/herself.”

AP Admissions Officer

Online Bulletin Board

Admissions – Q340 Base: (n=125)

admissions officers use ap to determine college preparedness student motivation and placement
Admissions Officers use AP to determine college preparedness, student motivation, and placement

How does your institution use AP, if at all, to support admissions decisions?

“We consider the learning environment for each applicant – how many AP’s are offered and how many has the student taken advantage of and grades earned.”

AP Admissions Officer Online Bulletin Board

All uses are employed at a higher rate at selective institutions

Admissions – Q301 Base: (n=125)

98 of admissions officers anticipate increase or maintaining their current uses of ap in the future
98% of Admissions Officers anticipate increase or maintaining their current uses of AP in the future

Think about the use of AP in admissions decisions at your institution.

Five years from now, do you expect that …?

Higher among selective institutions (47%)

Admissions – Q705 Base: (n=125)

slide18

Students scoring 3+ on AP Exams are experiencing much higher college graduation rates than comparable non-AP students

College Graduation Rate differences between AP and non-AP students

Source: Chrys Dougherty, Lynn Mellor, and Shuling Jian, The Relationship Between Advanced Placement and College Graduation (National Center for Educational Accountability, 2006)

hargrove godin dodd study in press
Hargrove, Godin, & Dodd Study(in press)
  • Followed 5 cohorts of students in Texas colleges from 1988-2002. SAT scores and Reduced Price Lunch status were used as statistical control variables.
  • Students who had taken one or more AP courses in a Texas high school:
  • had higher graduation rates
  • earned a higher subject-area GPA in sequent courses
  • completed more courses in the discipline
  • Earned higher first-year and fourth-year college GPAs (The increase was higher still for students who took both the AP Course and the corresponding AP Exam.)
today s agenda20
Today’s Agenda
  • Introduction: Challenges in secondary school education
  • What Does the Latest Research Indicate About AP?
    • AP and admissions
    • AP and credit/placement
  • The AP community’s values, needs, and wants
    • AP teachers
    • College faculty
    • Students
  • AP Course Audit renewal process
  • AP Course & Exam Review
slide21

There is a need for high-quality teachers to replace retiring AP teachers, with a need to build commitment, advocacy, and AP loyalty

Which three of the following have been most influential to you when deciding whether to take an AP course?

ISSUE #3

slide22

AP teachers want more AP teaching resources (e.g. mid-year assessments, classroom materials, online score reports)

How important are each of the following potential changes the AP Program could make for teachers?

% Extremely / Very Important

new supports for ap teachers
New supports for AP teachers
  • Free, new AP Released Exam delivered in secure manner to all authorized AP teachers (spring 2008)
  • Online score reports (target: summer 2009)
  • Formative assessments (Web downloads)
  • New content-focused professional development
  • Reduction of breadth, increase of depth in AP science
slide24
While there remains healthy support for credit-by-examination business among the credit policymakers: higher ed faculty

In general, would you say you favor or oppose allowing AP students

to receive credit or placement in your department?

76% Strongly Favor or Favor

There were no differences based on selectivity

Dept. Chairs – Q240 Base: (n=125)

slide25

When drilling down to the Top 200 universities, AP credit policies appear to be increasingly restrictive

What is the minimum score/most typical score required by your department under its AP policy for advanced credit or placement?

Among Admissions Officers, 57% of selective and 78% of Top Third institutions require a 4 or higher

Dept. Chairs in Sciences and History tend to require higher scores than those in other subject areas

Admissions – Q345 Base: (n=125)

Dept. Chairs – Q345 Base: (n=125)

slide26
AP Teachers generally rate higher ed policies as more essential to maintaining AP participation than other issues

To sustain your school’s current level of participation in AP, how important is it that…

% Extremely / Very Important

AP Teachers – Q345 Base: (n=3,417)

slide27

College faculty are looking for guarantees of AP quality, consistency, and rigor

% Very / Extremely Important

“For the gold standard to be in play, faculty and administrators need to have a greater sense of what AP actually is all about.”

College Faculty Member Online Bulletin Board.

initiatives needed to increase higher education satisfaction with ap
Initiatives needed to increase higher education satisfaction with AP
  • Greater involvement of college faculty in the exam development and scoring processes
  • Recognition and appropriate remuneration for expertise rendered
  • Improved communications to academic departments
  • Implementation of standard-setting colloquia that enable faculty from AP-receiving institutions to help define standards and expectations for AP student achievement
slide29
Exam scores of 1 are proliferating, showing that many students are not receiving the preparation they deserve for AP

CAGR: 8%

CAGR: 10%

CAGR: 17%

students cite lack of preparation among the primary barriers to ap exam taking

Being in the AP course is what really matters to get into college, not my exam score

I don’t feel I will get a high enough score to obtain college credit

There wasn’t enough test prep material offered

I am weak in that subject area

The AP Exam fee is too expensive

Barriers

Drivers

To show how well I mastered the college level course

To potentially save money in college by earning college credit

My teacher expects

me to take the AP Exam

Taking the exam

is just part of the whole AP experience

Students cite lack of preparation among the primary barriers to AP Exam taking

AP Exam Taking

ISSUE #4

Graphic is based upon a regression model.

initiatives necessary to foster student exam readiness
Initiatives necessary to foster student exam readiness
  • Toolkit for conducting week-long AP Summer Camps to review skills necessary for success in an AP course
  • Provision of free AP Course Study Guides (downloaded from collegeboard.com) for students and teachers to use throughout the academic year and in reviewing for exam day
  • Exam review materials
  • Continued organizational investment in Pre-AP programs and services such as SpringBoard
today s agenda32
Today’s Agenda
  • Introduction: Challenges in secondary school education
  • What Does the Latest Research Indicate About AP?
    • AP and admissions
    • AP and credit/placement
  • The AP community’s values, needs, and wants
    • AP teachers
    • College faculty
    • Students
  • Course Audit renewal process
  • AP Course & Exam Review
who participated
Who participated?

The AP community responded in overwhelming numbers to the inaugural, worldwide review of AP courses.

Where 105,000 syllabi were anticipated, 141,000 were submitted --- and over 14,000 schools participated.

who evaluated the syllabi
Who evaluated the syllabi?
  • Nearly 850 college instructors have served as Reviewers and Senior Reviewers
  • For all 37 AP subjects, each reviewer teaches the parallel college course
  • Reviewers undergo training and qualifying experiences before beginning ‘live’ evaluations
the ap course ledger
Searchable database of over 136,000 courses in more than 14,000 secondary schools worldwide authorized to carry the “AP” label

Search database by high school, high school code, city, state, and subject

Entire database is available for download into admission office systems

The AP Course Ledger

collegeboard.com/apcourseledger

what are college faculty saying about the course audit
What are College Faculty Saying About the Course Audit?

“My experience [conducting the audit] was very encouraging; almost without exception, the syllabi reflected serious preparation and a desire to facilitate learning. That is really what is important.”– James Riddlesperger, Senior Faculty Reviewer, U.S. Government, Texas Christian University

“Some of these syllabi begin with broad themes, and then combine some texts that one might not naturally put together…these unique approaches make me think about the ingenuity of AP teachers.”      

– Bruce Plourde, Senior Faculty Reviewer, English Literature, Temple University

slide38
67% of AP teachers --- and 81% of new AP teachers --- think the audit provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on their course

The audit provided a valuable and useful opportunity to reflect on my course

62% of AP teachers in private schools thought that the audit provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on their course

67% agree/strongly agree

81% of first-year AP teachers felt the audit provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on their course

Total Responses = 26,023

almost half of ap teachers felt that they improved their course as a result of the audit
Almost half of AP Teachers felt that they improved their course as a result of the Audit

% strongly agree/agree

66%

49%

33%

18%

14%

14%

14%

13%

11%

slide40

Nearly one in five AP teachers felt that the Audit alerted them to changes in the AP course or exam that they hadn’t yet incorporated into their course

 The audit alerted me to changes in the AP course or exam that I hadn't yet incorporated into my course

*21% of AP English teachers felt the Audit alerted them to changes in the AP course or exam that they had not yet incorporated into their course

**14% of AP math teachers felt the Audit alerted them to changes in the AP course or exam that they had not yet incorporated into their course

***24% of AP teachers in schools with greater than 50% f/r lunch felt the audit alerted them to changes

18% strongly agree/agree

Total responses = 25,982

ap course audit impact
AP Course Audit Impact
  • 67,000 teachers report having improved their course as a result of the audit
  • 18,200 teachers used the audit to acquire more current textbooks
  • 22,100 teachers indicated that they had not been aware of major changes to the AP curriculum until they did the audit
  • 18,000 teachers used the audit to acquire greater lab time or instructional time
  • 45,500 felt that the audit was just a hoop they had to jump through
next steps important dates
Next Steps: Important dates
  • Jan 31: deadline for submission of NEW courses for 2007-08
  • Feb 1 – Mar 3: Website closed for upgrades
  • Mar 4: Website reopens
next steps renewing authorizations
Next Steps: Renewing Authorizations
  • Beginning March 4, principals and AP Coordinators can renew authorizations for courses that:
    • will be taught by the same teacher
    • will be taught from the authorized syllabus
  • Renewal process can be completed online at https://apcourseaudit.epiconline.org
next steps new courses for 2008 09
Next Steps: New courses for 2008-09
  • On March 4, the Website will begin accepting submissions for 2008-09
  • Course Audit forms will be submitted electronically – no faxing
  • All syllabi will be assigned an ID number
    • Teachers can share this number among themselves to alert us to submissions of identical syllabi
    • 2007-08 syllabi will also be assigned an ID number.
ap course audit contact information
AP Course Audit Contact Information
  • apcourseaudit@epiconline.org
  • 1-877-APHELP-0
  • Tom Matts <<tmatts@collegeboard.org>>
today s agenda46
Today’s Agenda
  • Introduction: Challenges in secondary school education
  • What Does the Latest Research Indicate About AP?
    • AP and admissions
    • AP and credit/placement
  • The AP community’s values, needs, and wants
    • AP teachers
    • College faculty
    • Students
  • Course Audit renewal process
  • AP Course & Exam Review
ap course exam review where can improvements be made
AP Course & Exam Review Where can improvements be made?

A National Research Council Report (2002) identified several opportunities to improve math and science education in the US. These recommendations are equally applicable to all AP course subjects.

  • Courses should emphasize deep understanding rather than comprehensive coverage.
  • Programs should reflect current understanding of learning in the discipline.
  • Programs should reflect current research directions within the disciplines.
  • Courses should emphasize inquiry and reasoning

The National Research Council

Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools

2002

ap science course exam review phase i bio recommendations
AP Science Course & Exam Review Phase I Bio Recommendations

• Establish a conceptual framework that will

increase depth and reduce breadth

• Emphasize inquiry-based

teaching and learning and

integrate reasoning

• Define prior knowledge

• Increase Access

• Assume a leadership role in

professional development

• Develop formative assessments

slide49

Calls for rethinking

what is taught, how

it is taught and how

learning is assessed

how people learn
How People Learn
  • Students come into the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp new concepts and information that are taught or they may learn them for purposes of a test not revert to their preconceptions outside the classroom
  • To develop competence in an area of inquiry, students must: a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, b) understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework , and c) organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application
  • A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them
slide51

Some design principles:

  • Effective STEM curricula
  • are coherent, focus on
  • important ideas within
  • the discipline, and are
  • sequenced to optimize
  • learning

2. Teaching for understanding

begins with careful

consideration of students’ thinking

3. Assessment is aligned with

instruction and desired learning

outcomes

learning and understanding
Learning and Understanding
  • This study examined AP, IB and alternative approaches (special schools, e.g.)
  • Recommends that programs incorporate the principles emerging from learning research as they move forward
slide53

Assessment needs to

move beyond a focus

on component skills

and discrete bits of

knowledge to

encompass the more

complex aspects of

student achievement

slide54

AP Course & Exam ReviewGoals

The AP Review Project will produce a more inclusive and more engaging program of study for each discipline. To achieve this we identify:
  • The essential concepts that are to be studied in depth
  • The essential reasoning and inquiry skills that are to be supported by instruction and measured on the exams
  • Teaching practices that are most successful at developing understanding
  • The minimum resources required to support these practices
  • Cutting-edge areas of research that can best capture essential concepts within the discipline and reveal the unity of scientific ways of knowing.
ap course exam review process
AP Course & Exam ReviewProcess

The process of AP Science, History, & World Languages Course & Exam Review has been informed by:

  • College Curriculum Study
  • National & select state standards
  • Established learning science approaches to curriculum and assessment design
    • Learning and Understanding (National Research Council, 2002)
    • Understanding by Design (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005)
    • Evidence-centered Design (Steinberg, Mislevy, & Almond, 2003)
ap science course exam review how will we get there
AP Science Course & Exam ReviewHow will we get there?

PROCESS DESIGN

ESTABLISH

FOUNDATION

COURSE / EXAM

MODEL

CURRICULUM DESIGN

ASSESSMENT DESIGN

INVOLVE AP &

PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY

PROFESSIONAL

DEVELOPMENT

OPERATIONS

ap course exam review how will we get there

PROCESS DESIGN:

Review process is based on learning methodology, potential risks, and discipline expertise.

AP Course & Exam Review How will we get there?

• The AP Science Review is supported in its initial phases by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Principal Investigators on that grant provide expertise in learning science, science education, and assessment design.

• Discipline-specific expertise is provided by AP Review Commissions whose membership includes secondary and post-secondary educators and practicing scientists and historians.

• The role of the AP staff is to develop resources to support and facilitate the work of these teams.

ap course exam review how will we get there58

PROCESS DESIGN:

Review process is based on learning methodology, potential risks, and discipline expertise.

AP Course & Exam Review How will we get there?

Commissions were assembled to provide subject matter

expertise and direction for the review

  • Professional organizations, (e.g. the National Science Foundation, ACTFL, etc.) and College Board members identified by consensus the Commission members
  • Each Commission is comprised of leaders in Higher and Secondary Education with subject-specific expertise
  • The Commission provides input and guidance on:
    • Essential course content and skills
    • Instructional practices
ap course exam review establish foundation

ESTABLISH FOUNDATION:

Disciplinary experts identify the essential reasoning

and concepts.

AP Course & Exam Review Establish Foundation

Each Commission was charged to focus the

AP course review on the following goals:

  • Draw upon current research on learning, instruction, and assessment
  • Reduce the breadth of content coverage
  • Increase depth of understanding of essential concepts
  • Develop capacity to use inquiry and critical thinking skills
  • Organize curriculum, instruction, and assessment using unifying themes
  • Create learning programs accessible to students from a broad range of backgrounds
  • Prepare students for success in subsequent college-level courses
ap course exam review establish foundation60

Inquiry

and Reasoning

Essential Content

Integrated Learning

ESTABLISH FOUNDATION:

Disciplinary experts identify the essential reasoning

and concepts.

AP Course & Exam Review Establish Foundation

The AP courses and exams will produce Integrated Learning

by embedding the “Essential Content” within:

  • “Unifying Concepts” that deepen learning by increasing coherence
  • “Inquiry and Reasoning” skills that deepen learning by involving students in knowledge construction

Unifying

Concepts

ap course exam review course exam model

COURSE / EXAM MODEL

Compile the framework for the

course/ exam in the form of claims

and evidence.

CURRICULUM

DESIGN

AP Course & Exam Review Course / Exam Model

ASSESSMENT

DESIGN

The new AP courses and exams will be based on well-defined learning objectives and descriptions of student work that achieves these objectives.

Curriculum Design

  • Course descriptions will clearly define the scope of the learning objectives.
  • Embedded formative assessments will support progress toward success on the AP Exam.
  • Curricular resources will be provided to support AP students and teachers.

Assessment Design

  • The assessment model will support deep learning by emphasizing reasoning and inquiry
  • Each of the scores within the 5-4-3-2-1 scoring model will be tied to clear and specific standards for student achievement
ap course exam review involve ap professional communities

INVOLVE PROFESSIONAL AND AP COMUNITY:

Review approach with and solicit feedback from

Instructors (secondary and post-secondary).

AP Course & Exam Review Involve AP & Professional Communities

Guiding principles of the Review process are to:

  • Rely upon the expertise of the leading educators and scholars from both higher and secondary education.
  • Solicit feedback and input from those most involved with the courses and exams.

After the 2008 release of the draft Course / Exam model:

  • Review and comment by professional communities
  • Solicit input from a representative sample of AP teachers
  • Involve and consult with higher education communities
  • Present the model at professional conferences
  • Provide AP Course & Exam Review updates on AP Central
ap course exam review what does this mean for ap teachers
AP Course & Exam ReviewWhat does this mean for AP teachers?

There are still many details to be finalized for the AP Course and

Exam Review. At this point, the following impacts are known:

  • The amount of change differs by exam. Subject-specific details will be provided as available.
  • Through the AP Course Audit network and AP Central, the College Board will continue to provide purposeful, direct and regular updates on any significant course changes
  • The criteria used in the Course Audit will reflect the new Curriculum Framework.
  • The AP Course & Exam review effort provides a renewed opportunity to involve higher education faculty with the goal of ensuring ever-increasing credit policies across institutions