Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Thursday, February 10, 2011

County Leads the Way in AP Exam Scores

As I consider a possible move to a new school next year (be it middle or high school), I am continually interested in what rigorous courses I am helping prepare my students in middle school for, especially the AP Language & Composition and AP Literature courses, perhaps the pinnacle of K-12 English education. I attended a very enlightening English Resource Teachers' meeting yesterday afternoon for middle school English department heads in my county (I went for my department chair) that emphasized the deep critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills these AP courses require. So, what can we do for our students now to best prepare them?

Today, our superintendent announced how well students in our county performed on last year's AP exams compared to the rest of the state and nation. The results? Quite good.

Perhaps even more interesting is that, according to the meeting I attended yesterday, 3/4 of our high school juniors and seniors will enroll in an AP English course. Of those, the majority will earn at least a 3 on the AP test. Is this a reason to celebrate? Yes. And it is a reason to continue to stress higher level thinking and analysis skills in the middle grades? You betcha.


Dear Colleagues,
The College Board released its annual Advanced Placement (AP) results for the graduating Class of 2010 yesterday, and once again, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) was a national leader. MCPS students set an all-time record with exactly half of our 2010 graduates receiving a college-ready score of 3 or higher on at least one AP exam. That is up from 48.7 percent for the Class of 2009 and 20 percentage points higher than the Class of 2000.
The state of Maryland is rightfully proud that it has the highest rate of any state in the nation for graduates who scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam—26.4 percent—and MCPS is a driving force behind that achievement, accounting for more than a third of the college-ready graduates in the state. Maryland’s ranking would actually drop to eighth place if MCPS graduates were not included in the state’s statistics.
When it comes to AP participation and performance for African American and Hispanic students, MCPS is having an even greater impact. Consider that MCPS enrolled about a tenth of the state’s African American graduates in 2010, but nearly one-third of all the African American graduates who scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam. African American students from MCPS accounted for a mere one half of 1 percent (0.5%) of the nation’s high school graduates, yet accounted for 2.5 percent of the African American graduates who earned a score of 3 or higher. Hispanic students in MCPS accounted for about one third of 1 percent (0.3%) of the nation’s Hispanic graduates but earned nearly 1 percent of the scores of 3 or higher.
So, when Maryland says it is “First in Education,” it is in great part due to the excellent work of the women and men who make up the MCPS team. You have prepared and supported our students from the earliest grades, encouraged them to challenge themselves with rigorous classes, and provided them with the instruction and assistance they need to succeed. The impact of this work will last for generations. Also, we are very proud that, for the second time, Paint Branch High School has been named an exemplary school for its success in encouraging and supporting African American students to take AP classes. Please take the time to watch the video attached to this email and to see the story done by WRC, NBC Washington.
Thank you for your continued outstanding work on behalf of the students of Montgomery County.
Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

© 2011 Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland

AP Participation and Performance
A Decade of Robust Growth

AP Performance and Participation Chart
Participation: % Graduates Taking One or More AP Exams
Performance: % Graduates Scoring a 3 or Higher on One or More AP Exams

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