R.L. Turner High School students exceed expectations in Advanced Placement (AP) math and science results for second year in a row
It’s officially been two years since the LBJ Express project underwrote an aggressive academic push for local high school students, and on Wednesday, hundreds of cheering students at R.L. Turner High School gathered in the school’s auditorium to help celebrate the second-year results of their fellow students who recently have earned qualifying scores on Advanced Placement (AP) tests to earn college credit in at least one subject.
R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD began implementing the nationally recognized Advanced Placement Training & Initiative Program (APTI) in the 2011-2012 school year, after the LBJ Express project provided a $500,000-plus grant to help students and faculty focus on and achieve success in math and science. A hallmark program of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), the program has proven to dramatically increase U.S. student achievement in AP math and science courses.
In the past year, some 188 R.L. Turner students have passed AP math, science and English exams, not only earning college credit and saving thousands of dollars on tuition, but also earning $18,900 in cash awards for their success. Among those are 43 students who passed the AP math exam and 64 students who passed the AP science exam.
R.L. Turner High School Principal Brooke Puricelli talked about the “grit” of students at the school, noting that more than 50 percent of the senior class is enrolled in AP courses this year.
“AP coursework is never easy, but when you have grit, you can push yourself to achieve more than you ever thought possible,” Puricelli told the students.
AP chemistry teacher Erin Middleton spoke about the additional training, resources and labs she was able to access with the grant, ultimately benefiting her students. “I now have twice as many of my students who have passed the AP chemistry test than I even had enrolled in my class just a few years ago!” Middleton noted.
Two AP students offered words of encouragement to their classmates.
“AP classes are all about stretching yourself and going outside of your comfort zone,” said Valerie Fix. “You can do so much more at the end than you ever thought you could at the beginning. It is definitely worth the struggle you might experience at first.”
Fellow student Adil Virani reminded classmates that colleges look at more than SAT or ACT scores. “They look for students who are pushing themselves, the kids who are taking the toughest courses possible … because they want kids from high school who are ready to do well in college,” said Virani, who also noted the enormous tuition cost savings that come from earning college credit through AP exams.
Leaders of the LBJ Express project were impressed by the number of R.L. Turner students succeeding in the APTI program.
“Given the level of math and science required to design and construct the LBJ Express project, we are delighted to help these local students achieve success in these areas of study,” said LBJ Express CEO Antonio Alvarez-Cedron Rodríguez. “Their academic success today will translate into long-term career success that will benefit not only the students themselves, but also the world around them.”
About the National Math and Science Initiative: The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) is an agent of change that was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education and science to improve student achievement in math and science across the American public school system. The NMSI mission is to bring best practices to the education sector by replicating proven programs on a national scale that have more than 10 years of proven results. These programs include the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program to prepare more high school students to succeed in college level courses, the UTeach program to recruit and train more math and science teachers, and the Laying the Foundation program to prepare middle school and high school students to succeed in pre-AP and AP classes. NMSI has received major funding support for its ground-breaking national initiatives from Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, with additional support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Texas Instruments and Lockheed Martin Corporation. Learn more at http://www.nationalmathandscience.org/
About the LBJ Express: The $2.7-billion LBJ Express project is rebuilding approximately 17 miles of I-635 between Luna Road and Greenville Avenue, as well as I-35E between Loop 12 and Valwood Parkway in Dallas County. Scheduled for completion in late 2015, the project will completely reconstruct and upgrade the existing highway and add more than 13 miles of new TEXpress Lanes to improve safety, relieve congestion, and account for future demand. Learn more at http://www.lbjtexpresslanes.com/.