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Dallas ISD marks Advanced Placement Incentive Program™ milestone of 10,000 students, expands program to all Dallas secondary schools

New grant agreement with $1.5 million from TI Foundation extends incentives to additional schools

District and partners recognize Peter O'Donnell's leadership

Sep 20, 2010

DALLAS, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) and two long-time foundation partners celebrated a milestone today in the Advanced Placement Incentive Program (APIP) with the announcement of a new grant agreement.  

A three-year $1.5 million grant from the Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation, along with continuing support from the O'Donnell Foundation and Dallas ISD, will expand the program to all 32 Dallas high schools starting this school year and help the district pass a milestone of 10,000 students benefitting from this program.

Envisioned by Dallas philanthropist and education supporter Peter O'Donnell, Jr., initiated by the O'Donnell Foundation in 1996, and supported by the TI Foundation since 2000, the APIP program has given financial incentives to date to 9,926 students in 17 high schools who might otherwise not have taken Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) classes, taken Advanced Placement (AP) courses and passed more than 16,000 AP tests.  The program also funds incentives to teachers and schools to teach the rigorous courses that increase students' college readiness.

Under the new grant agreement, incentives will be available at all high schools throughout the district this year.  The program's goals are to have more Dallas ISD students, reflecting the diversity of the district, take and pass Advanced Placement (AP) exams in math, science and English, and to increase the number of students enrolled in Pre-AP and AP classes.  The district and its partners hope to increase the number of AP exams passed in math, science and English by 10 percent annually.  In 2010, students in Dallas ISD passed 1882 AP math, science, and English exams, up from 158 in 1995.

The TI Foundation will provide monetary incentives for participating students, AP teachers, lead teachers, principals and campuses in the APIP.  The O'Donnell Foundation will fund student incentives for 15 of the high schools.  Dallas ISD will fund lead teacher salaries, and part of the stipend, teacher training costs and student exam fees, and education non-profit organization Advanced Placement Strategies (APS) will monitor and report results.  

At today's announcement and community reception at Hillcrest High School, Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa spoke about the APIP's impact on teachers, students and schools.  The district and TI Foundation recognized the contributions of Peter O'Donnell, the Dallas philanthropist and education supporter who started the program that is being replicated across the country by the National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI).  

"The AP Incentive program, started in Dallas 15 years ago, has helped so many of our students begin college with countless credit hours out of the way," said Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa. "More than that, the rigorous coursework at the high school level prepares them for success during college. This program also rewards high school teachers for encouraging their students to achieve at top levels. Thanks go to Peter O'Donnell for envisioning and continuing to support this program, but also to the TI Foundation for extending it to all of our high schools."

"The success of the AP Incentive Program comes from dedicated teachers who engender confidence in their students to learn to a higher standard," said Peter O'Donnell, Jr. "They exemplify the level of excellence that can be achieved in public education."

Sam Self, chairman of the TI Foundation, said, "This program is about retaining experienced, effective teachers in Dallas ISD as well as encouraging students to take rigorous coursework and motivating them to study and pass AP tests.  By extending the program to all 32 schools this year, we expect to have an even greater impact."

AP teachers receive $100 for each student's AP math, science and English exam score of 3 or over and an additional $100 per qualifying score for meeting a campus target course goal set by APS.  Students at all Dallas ISD high Schools receive $100 for qualifying scores on the exams. Both the TI Foundation and the O'Donnell Foundation contribute to student incentives.  

In addition, each high school campus receives a bonus of $2000 ($1000 for the principal and $1000 for the campus) for meeting an annual campus goal set by APS.  An AP coordinator on each high school campus will receive a $500 stipend for overseeing the campus program and reporting data to APS.  The TI Foundation funds $4,000 of a $10,000 stipend for each of 12 lead teachers (four math, four English and four science teachers) with the district assuming the balance of the stipend.  

"The incentive program has helped me tremendously to grow as an AP teacher," said Rachmad Tjachyadi, Pre-AP and AP Chemistry teacher at W.T. White High School.  "This program has not only given me the resources to be successful, but it has helped established the culture of rigorous academia at W. T. White."

"The AP Incentive program allowed me to start my college career as a sophomore at the University of Michigan," said Dr. Todd Coleman, now an assistant professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  "As a result, I was able to win the College of Engineering's Senior Class Prize with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering and attend graduate school at MIT.  I simply cannot thank the AP Incentive Program or my high school teachers in Dallas enough."

TI and the TI Foundation invest in proven, successful programs that improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and that can be replicated. This TI Foundation grant represents a significant commitment both to local schools and to Change The Equation™ (CTEq) a new national network of more than 100 corporations, foundations and government focused on improving STEM education. CTEq was announced by President Obama on Thursday, September 16th.  

About AP programs

The College Board's AP Program gives high school students a chance to do college level work in a variety of subjects ranging from calculus to chemistry. AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 3 or higher considered passing scores.  If students score well enough on an AP test, students can earn course credit or placement in advanced credit courses at most colleges and universities.

The AP program has established a track record of positive results. In a state-wide Texas study, AP success correlated with much greater success in college. Six-year college graduation rates rise from ~15 percent for African-American and Hispanic students to ~60 percent if they have scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam.  Students enrolled in AP courses are also competitive internationally–while the U.S. ranked below the international average on the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS), students who had taken the AP Calculus exam ranked first in the world in advanced mathematics.

About the Dallas Independent School District

The Dallas Independent School District serves more than 157,000 students in 228 campuses.  In 2010, the district has 66 Exemplary campuses and 59 Recognized campuses, according to the Texas Education Agency.

About the O'Donnell Foundation

Edith and Peter O'Donnell, Jr. established the O'Donnell Foundation in 1957 to focus on improving education in Texas. The Foundation develops and funds model programs designed to strengthen math, engineering, science and arts education. One such program is the Advanced Placement Incentive Program, which has led to a dramatic increase in the number of high school students, especially minorities, passing college-level courses in mathematics, science and English. It has been so successful in Texas that the Rising Above the Gathering Storm report released by the National Academies in 2006 recommended it for replication.  The National Math and Science Initiative has already implemented the incentive program in seven states.

About the Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, established in 1964, is a non-profit organization, providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where Texas Instruments operates. For more information, please see www.ti.com/education and www.givingprograms.com/ti/default.aspx,

SOURCE Texas Instruments Incorporated