Advanced Placement Policies: State Profile

Advanced Placement Policies: State Profile - Arkansas

This information was collected from statutes, state board regulations and state education agency Web sites and was fully updated in 2016. Please contact Jennifer Dounay Zinth at 303.299.3689 or with questions regarding state policies on this issue.

Advanced Placement 2016
All high schools/districts required to offer AP Yes. All high schools must offer at least 4 AP courses. All districts must offer 1 AP course in each of 4 areas: English, math, science and social studies. These offerings must be phased in over a 4-year period beginning in the 2005-2006 school year. Unlike districts, however, high schools are not required to offer courses in specific subject areas.

Districts must also offer pre-AP courses.

Any high school offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is exempt from the requirement to offer AP courses. 
State financial support for AP course offerings/AP success Yes. Contingent upon legislative appropriations, schools participating in the Arkansas Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Diploma Incentive Program may be awarded a one-time equipment and instructional materials grant for providing an AP course. A school may apply for a one-time equipment grant for each AP course. (Two sections of a course such as AP U.S. History would be considered as one course. Districts with more than one high school providing AP courses may apply for the one-time equipment grants for each high school.

In addition, depending on the availability of funds, schools may be awarded up to $50 for each score of ≥ 3 earned on any AP exam. A school must utilize such funds in the school's AP program. An annual report with detailed expenditures of funds awarded to schools from students' AP exam scores must be submitted to the Office of Gifted and Talented, Arkansas Department of Education.
AP participation/success included in high school accountability metrics/reporting Yes, for reporting. Districts must annually report by grade level, economic status, and ethnicity: 
  • The number of students taking AP courses
  • The number taking the AP exams
  • The percent of students earning a 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams.
State programs and funding for teacher training Yes. AP teachers must meet Arkansas Teacher Licensure requirements and attend a College Board Advanced Placement Summer Institute. Teachers must attend no less than once every 5 years. An AP teacher who has not obtained this required training must complete an Additional Training Plan (ATP) for Advanced Placement. The teacher will have 3 years to complete the required training. Pre-AP teachers must also meet Arkansas Teacher Licensure requirements and attend a College Board sponsored or endorsed training institute or workshop in the teacher's content area at least once every 5 years. A pre-AP teacher who has not obtained the required training must complete an ATP for Pre-Advanced Placement. The teacher will have 3 years to complete the required training.

Subject to legislative appropriations, a teacher participating in the AP or pre-AP program may be awarded subsidized AP teacher training of up to $650 per teacher. Specifically, an AP or pre-AP teacher may apply to the department for a grant of up to $650 to cover cost of tuition, expenses and materials of approved training programs. Priority for training will be given to teachers who have not been previously trained. When a district offers a pre-AP program, the courses must follow a clearly recognizable sequence, i.e., 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th grade Pre-AP English, 11th grade AP English Language and Composition, and 12th grade English Literature and Composition. A teacher who is assigned to teach more than one AP or pre-AP course may apply for more than one teacher training stipend, contingent upon appropriated funding.

For purposes of continuing education and professional development requirements, each hour of AP training received by licensed personnel must be counted as professional development up to 30 hours.

In addition, the Advanced Placement Training Incentive and Program is to:
  • Provide AP content directors to work, mentor, and provide resources to AP and pre-AP teachers in math, science, and English
  • Provide nationally recognized professional development for AP and pre-AP teachers that will enhance the teachers' knowledge and pedagogical skills
  • Develop and provide materials and resources for AP and pre-AP teachers.
The department of education must provide grant funding to organizations that implement measures to achieve the goals of the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program. An organization receiving grant funding to implement the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program must be affiliated with the National Math and Science Initiative, and have demonstrated success with an Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program. An organization receiving grant funding to provide the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program may:
  • Develop public-private partnerships to advance math and science learning opportunities
  • Generate revenue from public or private sector entities to support other opportunities
  • Accept grants, donations, gifts, or bequests.
One of purposes of the Arkansas Smart Core Incentive Funding Program is to promote programs that contribute to student success, including professional development for AP instruction.
State subsidies for testing fees Yes. Statute provides that, contingent upon legislative appropriation and the availability of funding, the state may pay AP test fees in full, or on a pro rata basis, and authorizes the state board to create a sliding scale for test fee coverage, based on family income.

The state will cover AP exam fees for low-income and non-low-income students in spring 2016.
State scholarship criteria include AP scores No
Collaboration on AP between K-12 and higher education systems Yes. Statute establishes the Arkansas Council on Postsecondary and Career Readiness, which includes representatives of K-12 and higher education. One of the charges to the council is to support college and career readiness standards that promote accelerated learning opportunities, including AP.

In addition, any public school, education service cooperative, or institution of higher education is authorized to enter into one or more interlocal agreements through which they collaborate to improve public school performance and academic achievement. Each interlocal agreement must establish an education renewal zone. The partners within a specific education renewal zone must develop a strategic plan that provides for enhancement and expansion of local curricular offerings through the use of two-way interactive television to include AP, dual-credit, and advanced high school courses.
State support for encouraging access to AP Yes. Districts must offer pre-AP courses to prepare students for the demands of AP coursework. The department of education must approve all classes designated as pre-AP courses.

Statute defines “vertical team” as a group of educators from different grade levels in a given discipline who work cooperatively to develop and implement a vertically aligned program aimed at helping students from diverse backgrounds acquire the academic skills necessary for success in the AP program and other challenging coursework. Statute requires AP and pre-AP teachers to obtain College Board sponsored or endorsed training, and provides this may include vertical team training.

Subject to legislative appropriations, a pre-AP teacher may be awarded subsidized AP teacher training of up to $650 per teacher.

In addition, the stated goals of the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program are to:
  • Increase the number of students enrolled in AP math, science, and English
  • Increase the number of students who score ≥ 3 on AP exams
  • Reduce participation and performance gaps in AP classes between African-American, Hispanic, and Caucasian students
  • Help public high schools develop strong and successful AP programs
  • Enhance and augment AP policies and initiatives in Arkansas
  • Provide Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Programs in every public high school that elects to participate and strengthen its AP program
  • Increase the number of students prepared to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields in higher education or related training and occupations.
Statute provides that the primary purpose of providing distance learning technologies is to assist districts in receiving advanced high school courses, AP courses, enriched course content, or other academic courses not otherwise available in the school district.

To the extent sufficient funding is available, qualified individuals and districts may enter into an agreement to provide traveling teacher services for one or more receiving districts to offer courses required by the Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts and any AP courses high schools and districts are required by statute to offer:
State postsecondary institutions must award credit for minimum scores No
Student must take AP exam to receive course credit No. However, a student may receive weighted credit for an AP course only if: 
  • The student takes the entire AP course
  • The student completes the applicable AP exam at the end of the AP course
  • The teacher of the AP course meets Arkansas teacher licensure requirements and
    • Attends a College Board AP Summer Institute at least once every 5 years; or
    • Completes an additional training plan for AP within 3 years of commencing the additional training plan.
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