Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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November 18, 2013

Kids paid to pass AP tests

Program aims for more in Advanced Placement classes.

Students at Kokomo High School can get paid this year for taking Advanced Placement college courses and passing the end-of-course tests.

The school was accepted into the second cohort of the Advanced Placement Training and Incentives Program.

The program’s goal is to get more students, especially minorities, to take those AP classes. And if more students pass the tests at the end, that’s an added bonus.

Research shows teens who take the advanced courses in high school, even if they don’t do well on the final exam, double their chances of graduating from college, KHS guidance counselor Mike Susong said.

“It’s a big opportunity for our kids,” Susong said.

The program offers students in math, science and English AP classes $100 for every qualifying exam they pass at the end of the course. The program also covers half the cost to take the exams. For low-income students, it covers the whole fee.

The AP teachers get $100 for each of their students who pass the AP exam and $1,000 if the class as a whole does well enough. Teachers are also paid $500 for the extra work they put in.

But the true benefit isn’t the money. It’s the support the program provides, AP biology teacher Greta Faurote said.

Teachers in the program receive 58 hours of professional development from master teachers. They have a network of professionals they can lean on when they need help.

If teachers are struggling to teach a concept to students, they can even call on those professionals to come and teach a class for them.

“The resources they’re giving us are just amazing,” Faurote said.

Teachers, in turn, can do more to help their students.

They’re expected to hold weekly tutoring sessions for kids who need extra help.

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