Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 18, 2013

Kids paid to pass AP tests

Program aims for more in Advanced Placement classes.

(Continued)

Beyond the tutoring sessions, students are expected to go to three Saturday study sessions throughout the year.

The first one was just held at Mississinewa High School in Gas City.

“Our environmental science teacher spent a good 15 or 20 minutes talking to us about how imperative it was to attend the Saturday session,” junior Paul Sandoval said.

All across the school, AP teachers were spreading that message.

It paid off.

Susong said 173 students made the trip to Gas City for the all-day study session. That’s 70 percent of their students taking a math, science or English AP class.

The event organizers were floored. No school has ever sent so many students, he said.

“They see the importance of it,” he said. “They’re buying into the program.”

Senior Chelsea Maupin, who is taking four AP classes this year, said she learned a lot at the study session.

She said they offered sample test questions for her calculus class. Her class had just learned about derivatives, and she wasn’t confident she would be able to handle them on the exam.

But someone showed her the questions and talked about what each question was asking her to do. The test format now makes more sense to her.

Sandoval, who is taking five AP classes, said his favorite session was the one on English. He learned a lot about the exam’s essay and how it was scored.

He got to take home a packet of sample essays that show how each one would be scored and why.

These things are important, Faurote said.

“They’re pulling in the things we run out of time to do in the classroom,” she said.

Research shows the extra support works.

Susong pulled out a packet of data showing how the first cohort performed.

As a whole, the group’s scores on math, science and English AP exams increased by 66 percent. Statewide, Indiana’s AP test scores increased by just 8.9 percent.

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