Advanced Placement Policies: State Profile

Advanced Placement Policies: State Profile - Rhode Island


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. However, LEAs are required to establish pathways that represent a set of courses and other programs within its guaranteed and viable comprehensive course of study and that provide students with the means to meet their academic and career goals. AP is one such option to meet this requirement.
State financial support for AP course offerings/AP success No
AP participation/success included in high school accountability metrics/reporting Yes. The department must issue a report to the general assembly on the AP teacher training program that includes:
  • The number of students taking AP courses at school entities in each of the 4 core academic areas of English, math, science, and social studies
  • The number of students scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam at school entities in each of the 4 core academic areas.
  • The remaining unmet need for trained teachers in school entities that do not offer AP courses.
In addition, any school district offering AP courses must publish on the district website the names of the AP courses being offered.
State programs and funding for teacher training Yes. Statute provides that the purpose of the Advanced Placement (AP) teacher training program is to provide access to AP courses in the 4 core academic areas of English, math, science and social science for all students by training teachers in AP course instruction at all high schools that do not presently provide AP courses.

Subject to appropriation, the AP teacher training program is established in the department of education by the board of regents to train teachers in eligible school entities to teach AP courses in English, math, science and social science. Eligible school entities are defined as those that do not have in each of their high schools at least one AP course in the 4 core academic areas. A school district with an AP course in one or more of the 4 core academic areas but not in all 4 core academic areas is only eligible to have a teacher trained in those core academic areas in which it does not have an AP course. No more than one teacher per core academic area in each high school of an eligible school district may be trained under this program. More than one eligible school district may apply jointly to the program to train a teacher in AP course instruction if that teacher is to provide such instruction in more than one school district either through classroom instruction or through virtual learning instruction. To the extent funds are appropriated for this program, the department must provide grants per eligible teacher to the endorsed entities providing AP teacher training upon completion of the training program.

The application by an eligible school district seeking funding for the program must include:
  • The subject areas that currently have an AP course in each of its high schools
  • The subject areas among the 4 core academic areas that it does not have an AP course in each of its high schools
  • The names of the eligible teachers including the high school where they are teaching and the AP subject area that each teacher will be providing instruction and whether the instruction will be in a classroom or through virtual learning
  • The names of the eligible teacher training entities that will be providing the AP teacher training
  • Agreement to provide the AP course for at least 3 years
  • Guidelines the district will use in determining which students may be eligible to enroll in an AP course. The district may not discriminate on any basis in enrollment of students that is illegal under applicable federal or state law
  • Agreement to annually report to the department for each of the 4 core academic areas that were taught by teachers whose training was funded by this program
    • The number of students taking AP courses
    • The number of students who took the AP exam
    • The number of students scoring a 3 or higher on the AP exam.
Statute provides that if insufficient funds are appropriated to provide funding for all eligible applying school entities, the department must prioritize funding of eligible school entities based on school district poverty level.

Statute also directs the department to promulgate rules, regulations and procedures necessary for the implementation of the Access to Advanced Placement Courses for All Students Act, including:
  • In consultation with the College Board, certify those teacher-training entities qualified to provide AP teacher training in the 4 core academic areas. In certifying teacher-training entities for this program, the department must ensure that the training times and locations are geographically accessible for teachers from eligible school entities
  • The department, in consultation with the College Board, must ensure that teacher training provides AP teachers with the necessary content knowledge and instructional skills to prepare students for success in AP courses and exams
  • Starting at the end of the first year of the program, and every year thereafter, the department must issue a report to the general assembly on the AP teacher training program that includes:
    • The number of teachers receiving AP teacher training in school entities, school districts and high schools in each of the 4 core academic areas
    • The number of students taking AP courses at school entities in each of the 4 core academic areas
    • The number of students scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam at school entities in each of the 4 core academic areas.
    • The remaining unmet need for trained teachers in school entities that do not offer AP courses.
Subject to appropriation, the state board of governors for higher education and the state board of regents for elementary and secondary education must work jointly to establish clear, specific, and challenging training guidelines that require AP teachers to obtain recognized AP training endorsed by the College Board. AP and pre-AP 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 grade, junior high, and high school teachers with AP vertical team training and other pre-AP professional development that prepares students for AP course success.
  • 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.
In addition, statute directs the state board of regents to seek federal funding through the Advanced Placement incentive program and the Math-Science partnership program, and use it to support Advanced Placement and pre-Advanced Placement 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 Advanced Placement courses and in college.
State subsidies for testing fees No. 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 Yes. Subject to appropriation, the state board of governors for higher education and the state board of regents for elementary and secondary education must work jointly to establish clear, specific, and challenging training guidelines that require Advanced Placement teachers to obtain recognized Advanced Placement training endorsed by the College Board.
State support for encouraging access to AP Yes. The Advanced Coursework Network, to be launched in fall 2016, will extend Advanced Placement (AP) and other advanced course opportunities across the state. Public schools and districts may join as network providers to offer new or existing advanced courses, and/or as network members, to allow their students to enroll in network courses. Courses will be offered by LEAs, community-based organizations, and institutions of higher education.

In addition, any district offering AP courses must notify parents of their availability and the guidelines the district uses in determining which students may be eligible to enroll in an AP course. The district must also publish on the district website the names of the AP courses the district offers, and the guidelines the district uses in determining which students may be eligible to enroll in an AP course.

Statute directs the state board of regents to focus state and federal AP funding on activities that target school districts serving high concentrations of low-income students.

The department of education must work with school districts that have the lowest graduation rates. The department must develop specific methods of targeted intervention or identify appropriate existing methods for districts with a dropout rate greater than 15% as determined by the department. One of the intervention methods the department may recommend is increased availability of AP courses.
State postsecondary institutions must award credit for minimum scores No
Student must take AP exam to receive course credit No
Unique characteristics The board of regents must encourage school districts to offer rigorous courses in grades 6-11 that prepare students for the demands of AP courses, and to encourage school districts to make it a goal that all 10th graders take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholars Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) so that test results will provide each high school with student assessment data that guidance counselors and teachers can 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.

The state board of regents must, subject to appropriation:
  • Provide a communication plan that includes disseminating to parents materials emphasizing 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 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholars Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which provides diagnostic feedback on skills and relates students' scores to the probability of success in AP courses and exams, and disseminating this information to students, teachers, counselors, administrators, school districts, public community colleges, and state universities.
  • Annually evaluate the impact of the College and Career Success for All Students Act on student enrollment and success rates in AP courses, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment retention and completion rates.
The department of education must work with school districts that have the lowest graduation rates. The department must develop specific methods of targeted intervention or identify appropriate existing methods for districts with a dropout rate greater than 15% as determined by the department. One of the intervention methods the department may recommend is increased availability of AP courses.

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