Mass Math + Science Initiative

Why the Mass Math + Science Initiative?

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The Massachusetts economy demands a talented workforce of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals, yet every year thousands of promising students leave high school without having taken the challenging courses required to succeed in these fields.

Moreover, achievement and access gaps persist in Advanced Placement (AP)* and other college-level math and science courses, particularly among Black and Hispanic students, female students, and students from low-income families. In 2008, only 65 African-American public school students in Massachusetts passed an AP science exam.

The Mass Insight Education's AP College Success, the state’s largest high school math and science program aimed at underserved students, has expanded access to rigorous, college-level Advanced Placement courses now in over 70+ high schools across the Commonwealth.

Through 2013-14, 76 schools have implemented Mass Insight’s College Success/STEM Initiative. Of these 76 schools, 46 are currently implementing the core/full program (in 2014-15); 18 are sustaining the work in partnership with Mass Insight; and 12 exited after 3+ years in the program, but continue to implement portions of the program on their own.

After 6 years…Immediate and Sustained Impact Beginning in 2008-09, Mass Insight Education's College Success/STEM initiative has been implemented in 76 schools and served over 25,000 students. The impact of the initiative is immediate and sustainable, especially in urban mid- and high-need schools with high proportions of African American and Hispanic students.

Immediate and Significant Impact In the first two years of implementing the College Success/STEM initiative, schools exhibit a 2 to 3 fold increase in the number of Math, Science, and English AP exams taken and typically double the number of qualifying scores. The initial increases in AP participation and success are sustained over time.

Sustained Impact in Urban Schools and African American Students Over 6 years, Mass Insight schools have annually enrolled 3 times as many African American students in AP courses and doubled the number of qualifying scores among African American students, compared to schools in the rest of the state.

Additional Facts:

AP Participation in 2013-14 15,020 AP Exams Taken (3985 math, 4733 science, 6302 English) Exams taken by ethnicity and income:

  • Black: 1315
  • Hispanic: 1622
  • White: 9824
  • Asian: 1529
  • Low-income: 4809

    Data Spotlight: Low-income students took 32% of all exams, up from 25% in 2012-13.

    AP Success in 2013-14 7,042 AP Exams scored 3 or higher (1960 math, 2125 science, 2562 English) Qualifying scores by ethnicity and income:

  • Black: 338
  • Hispanic: 440
  • White: 5298
  • Asian: 1568
  • Low-income: 1339

    Data Spotlight: 22 percent of exams scoring 3 or higher were taken by low-income students.

    * AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.