Increased Access to College-Level Coursework for Michigan Students

More Michigan high school students will have access to Advanced Placement courses and exams, thanks to a half million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will help cover the cost of tests associated with the college credit-bearing courses for low-income high school students.

As highlighted in The Education Trust-Midwest’s recent report, Michigan Achieves: Becoming a Top Ten Education Stateone of the best ways to ensure more students are career- and college-ready is to increase access to rigorous coursework in high school, such as Advanced Placement courses. Research shows that just taking the classes – even if a student does not earn credit in a college-level course – increases the likelihood that the student will go to college. Michigan currently ranks 29th of 49 in access to AP courses, measured by the number of students taking the AP exams. This funding is an important step in providing Michigan students with greater and more equitable access to rigorous coursework.

“Advanced Placement classes and the corresponding exams come with very high expectations for our students, as well as important early exposure to the demands and rigor of college-level courses, all while still in high school,” John King, senior adviser delegated duties of deputy secretary of education, said in a statement.

According to Martin Ackley, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education, the grant will help cover the cost of about 13,500 Advance Placement tests during the upcoming school year.

Additional information about the Advance Placement Test Fee Reduction, including application information, will be available on theMichigan Department of Education’s Advance Placement (AP) page.

The Importance of an Academic Checkup

Most American appreciate the value of an annual academic checkup – including for their public schools.

The annual EdNext Survey found that the overwhelming majority of parents and the general public – 66 percent and 67 percent, respectively – support annual assessments in reading and math. High quality assessments — measuring career- and college-ready expectations and real-life skills — have become the norm across the county.

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This fall, Michigan leaders will share the results from its first state assessment of public schools’ success in preparing our students to be career- and college-ready. It will be the state’s first look into how our schools are performing compared to high academic benchmarks – and a much more accurate picture of what areas our schools need to improve upon in order to do right by all of our students.

Now in its ninth year, the Education Next (EdNext) poll is administered to a representative sample of 5,000 American adults.

Infographic: The Anatomy of a Good Test

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