Mass Math + Science Initiative schools more than double Advanced Placement (AP) qualifying scores in three years

MMSI drives big gains across MA, particularly for minority and female students

On Thursday, September 8th, the Mass Math + Science Initiative (MMSI) announced the 2011 Advanced Placement* (AP) math, science and English exam results for the program’s 45 partner public schools. The schools posted a total of 3549 qualifying scores of 3 or higher on math, science and English exams. In 2008, these schools posted 1541 qualifying scores – a 130% increase since the program began, significantly outpacing state and national gains over the same period. Additionally, the results showed large increases in qualifying scores for minority and female students, indicating progress toward closing the state’s achievement gaps.

MMSI will serve students in 53 Massachusetts public high schools during the 2011-2012 school year. In four years, MMSI has increased AP enrollments in participating schools from about 4608 in 2008 to over 11,000 today, as the new school year begins. According to national research, students who pass at least one AP exam are three times more likely to graduate from college than those who don’t.

2011 AP math, science and English exam results announced at the Massachusetts State House indicate:

  1. The eight high schools that joined MMSI in 2008 posted a three-year increase of 83% in qualifying scores, compared to a 15% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and a 23% gain nationally. In those nine schools, the three-year increase for African-American and Hispanic students was 145%, compared to a 45% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and a 50% gain nationally. Female students saw an increase of 94% in math and science, compared to a 20% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and a 20% gain nationally.

  2. The 12 high schools that joined MMSI in 2009 posted a two-year increase of 128% in qualifying scores, compared to a 10% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and a 16% gain nationally. In those 12 schools, the two-year increase for African-American and Hispanic students was 223%, compared to a 31% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and a 33% gain nationally. Female students saw an increase of 70% in math and science, compared to an 11% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and a 15% gain nationally.

  3. The 26 high schools that joined MMSI in 2010 posted a one-year increase of 75% in qualifying scores, compared to a 6% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and an 8% gain nationally. In those 25 schools, the one-year increase for African-American and Hispanic students was 118%, compared to a 16% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and a 17% gain nationally. Female students saw an increase of 107% in math and science, compared to a 9% increase among all non-MMSI public schools in Massachusetts and a 9% gain nationally.

“These schools are proving that with quality teacher training and support, a large number of students can succeed in rigorous, college level courses,” said MMSI President Morton Orlov II. “Our minority and low-income students in particular are proving that they can meet high expectations; they’re on a path to college and career success.”

In August, the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council announced that MMSI has received their @Scale endorsement, which recognizes promising programs achieving quantitative gains in student interest and readiness.

“As we encourage more students to pursue careers in STEM fields, it is imperative that we create lasting partnerships that will provide students with the right tools and resources to gain an appreciation for STEM education,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray of the endorsements. “These selected STEM initiatives will build a pipeline for success between elementary and secondary education to post-secondary education and careers in Massachusetts’ growing innovation economy for students in all regions of the Commonwealth.”

In 2007, Massachusetts was one of six states selected by the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI) to receive a five-year, privately funded grant to replicate a highly successful AP expansion program in the Dallas Public Schools.

“We are opening doors to college for many more students, which is essential to our country’s future. In today’s highly competitive world, the next generation of leaders and innovators must have a mastery of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, CEO of NMSI.

MMSI 2011 Partner Schools: Agawam High School, Athol High School, Attleboro High School, Bellingham High School Boston Collegiate Charter School, Boston Community Leadership Academy, Brighton High School, Community Academy of Science and Health (Boston), East Boston High School, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (Boston), MATCH Charter Public High School (Boston), O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science (Boston), Chelsea High School, Dedham High School, Douglas High School, Easthampton High School, B.M.C. Durfee High School (Fall River), Greenfield High School, Malden High School, Marlborough High School, Mashpee High School, Methuen High School, Middleborough High School, Northampton High School, Norton High School, Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, Narragansett Regional High School (Phillipston-Templeton), Randolph High School, Revere High School, Salem Academy Charter School, Salem High School, South Hadley Senior High School, Springfield Central High School, Springfield High School of Science & Technology, Stoughton High School, Turners Falls High School, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (serves 13 communities in the Blackstone Valley), Uxbridge High School, Ware Junior Senior High School, Quaboag Regional Middle High School (Warren/West Brookfield), Winthrop High School, Burncoat High School (Worcester), North High School (Worcester), South High Community School (Worcester), Worcester Technical High School (Worcester)