Advanced Placement Policies: State Profile

Advanced Placement Policies: State Profile - Illinois


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 jzinth@ecs.org with questions regarding state policies on this issue.
 

Advanced Placement 2016
All high schools/districts required to offer AP No
State financial support for AP course offerings/AP success Yes. Regulation provides for AP grant funds to serve students and staff in schools where at least 40% of the students are classified as “low-income”. Funds may be used to purchase materials related to AP courses, among other purposes.

In addition, statute directs the state board to:
  • Seek federal funding through the Advanced Placement Incentive Program and the Math-Science Partnership Program and use it to support AP and pre-AP teacher professional development and to support the implementation of an integrated instructional program for students in grades 6-12 in reading, writing, and math that prepares all students for enrollment and success in AP courses and in college
  • Focus state and federal funding with the intent to carry out activities that target school districts serving high concentrations of low-income students.
AP participation/success included in high school accountability metrics/reporting Yes, for reporting. School and district accountability report cards must include AP courses.
State programs and funding for teacher training Yes. Subject to appropriation, an AP teacher must obtain appropriate training. Subject to appropriation, the state board must establish clear, specific, and challenging training guidelines that require AP teachers to obtain recognized College Board-endorsed AP training.

AP and pre-AP teacher training must do all of the following:
  • Provide AP teachers and teachers in courses that lead to AP with the necessary content knowledge and instructional skills to prepare students for success in AP courses and exams and other advanced course examinations and mastery of postsecondary course content
  • Provide administrators, including principals and counselors, with professional development that will enable them to create strong and effective AP programs in their schools
  • Provide middle, junior high, and high school teachers with AP Vertical Team training and other pre-AP professional development that prepares students for success in AP courses.
  • Support the implementation of an instructional program for students in grades 6-12 that provides an integrated set of instructional materials, diagnostic assessments, and teacher professional development in reading, writing, and math that prepares all students for enrollment and success in AP courses and in college.
Regulation governing AP teacher training provides for AP grant funds to be expended only to serve students and staff in schools where at least 40% of the students are classified as “low-income”. Purposes for which grant funds may be used include curriculum development and staff training. At least 20%of the funding provided for each program must be used to defray the cost of College Board-sponsored training for teachers, counselors, and principals. Costs for other professional development activities that correspond to the purposes in the bullets above must be allowable beyond the 20% threshold. Training costs may include stipends for those participating and for substitute teachers.

Grant proposals must be evaluated with up to 45 points awarded for "Quality and Scope of the Plan", including:
  • The proposal demonstrates that the training to be funded and the staff members to be involved will permit the district to offer AP courses or preparatory programs that are not currently available, or that greater numbers of students will have access to AP courses or preparatory programs.
  • The proposal includes plans for support for and collaboration among staff members and administrators that will result in the sequential alignment of rigorous course offerings across grade levels, culminating in AP studies.
State subsidies for testing fees Yes. Subject to appropriation, the state board of education must create, under the College and Career Success for All Students program, a program in public schools where at least 40% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches whereby fees charged by the College Board for AP exams are waived by the school, but paid for by the state, for those students who do not qualify for a fee waiver provided by federal funds or the College Board.

Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
State scholarship criteria include AP scores No
Collaboration on AP between K-12 and higher education systems No
State support for encouraging access to AP Yes. The state board must encourage districts to offer rigorous courses in grades 6-11 that prepare students for the demands of AP coursework. The state board must also encourage districts to make it a goal that all 10th graders take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholars Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) so that test results will provide each high school with a database of student assessment data that guidance counselors and teachers will be able to use to identify students who are prepared or who need additional work to be prepared to enroll and be successful in AP courses, using a research-based AP identification program provided by the College Board.

In addition, the state board must:
  • Seek federal funding through the Advanced Placement Incentive Program and the Math-Science Partnership Program and use it to support AP and pre-AP teacher professional development and to support the implementation of an integrated instructional program for students in grades 6-12 in reading, writing, and math that prepares all students for enrollment and success in AP courses and in college. 
  • Focus state and federal funding with the intent to carry out activities that target school districts serving high concentrations of low-income students
  • Subject to appropriation, provide a plan of communication that includes disseminating materials to parents that emphasize the importance of AP or other advanced courses to a student's ability to gain access to and to succeed in postsecondary education and materials that emphasize the importance of the PSAT/NMSQT, which provides diagnostic feedback on skills and relates student scores to the probability of success in AP courses and examinations, and disseminating this information to students, teachers, counselors, administrators, school districts, public community colleges, and state universities.
The Illinois Virtual School offers AP courses.

Regulation provides for AP grant funds to be expended only to serve students and staff in schools where at least 40% of the students are classified as “low-income”. Allowable activities include, in grades 6-11, initiatives and coursework designed to prepare students for enrollment and success in AP courses (“preparatory programs”). Some portion of the funding provided for each proposed program must be devoted to strategies and activities specifically designed to increase the participation of low-income students in AP courses or to promote participation by low-income students in preparatory programs, such as:
  • Development and dissemination of promotional materials or other outreach to students and their families
  • Counseling, enrichment, tutoring, or other assistance for students that will prepare them to succeed in these courses and on the culminating exams
  • Administering the Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) to students.
Grant applications must be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria:
1) Quality and Scope of the Plan (45 points)
A) The proposal demonstrates that the training to be funded and the staff members to be involved will permit the district to offer AP courses or preparatory programs that are not currently available, or that greater numbers of students will have access to AP courses or preparatory programs, as applicable.
B) The proposal includes plans for support for and collaboration among staff members and administrators that will result in the sequential alignment of rigorous course offerings across grade levels, culminating in AP studies.
C) The proposal demonstrates that the activities and materials to be supported with grant funds will enhance students' preparedness for AP courses and strengthen their ability to participate successfully.

2) Student Recruitment and Support (25 points)
A) The proposal provides evidence that the intended outreach and recruitment strategies respond to the needs of low-income students in the communities to be served.
B) The proposal presents a combination of supportive elements that will strengthen low-income students' preparation for AP coursework, assist them in successful completion of the courses chosen, and enhance their likelihood of success on the culminating exams.

3) Need (15 points)
A) The proposal describes the status of the applicant's instructional programs and demonstrates that students' access to rigorous academic coursework is limited by the scarcity of appropriately trained instructional staff or other necessary resources and materials.
B) The proposal demonstrates that other sources of funding are limited to such an extent that the applicant is unable to conduct or expand the program as proposed without grant funding.

4) Cost-Effectiveness and Sustainability (15 points)
A) The scope of the proposed activities is reasonable in light of the amount of funding to be provided, and the project will be cost-effective considering the number and types of courses to be supported and the number of students to be served.
B) The proposal gives evidence of the district's commitment to continuing efforts to foster greater participation in AP coursework by low-income students and to support them in achieving greater success and achievement in that coursework.
State postsecondary institutions must award credit for minimum scores Yes. Effective with the 2016-2017 academic year, scores of ≥ 3 on AP exams must be accepted for credit to satisfy degree requirements by all public institutions of higher education. Each institution of higher education must determine for each test whether credit will be granted for electives, general education requirements, or major requirements and the AP scores required to grant credit for those purposes.

By the conclusion of the 2019-2020 academic year, the Board of Higher Education, in cooperation with the Illinois Community College Board, must analyze each institution's AP exam score course granting policy and the research used by each institution in determining the level of credit and the number of credits provided for AP scores and file a report to the general assembly and the governor that includes findings and recommendations. Each institution of higher education must provide the Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board with all necessary data, in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, to conduct the analysis.

Each institution of higher education must publish its updated AP exam score course granting policy on its website before the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year.
Student must take AP exam to receive course credit No
Unique characteristics

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