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For Immediate Release
Friday, June 23, 2000
Contact:Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126

3,000 Low-Income Massachusetts High School Students Will Receive Free Or Low-Cost Advanced Placement Opportunity

Malden - Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll announced today that Massachusetts has received an award of over half a million dollars from the United States Department of Education to give 3,000 more low-income and minority students the opportunity to take Advanced Placement courses and exams, and to support teachers trained to lead AP courses.

Advanced Placement exam fees for income eligible students will drop from $77 to $15, and in some cases, the tests will be free of charge. Also, Massachusetts will use its grants to support new and veteran teachers of Advanced Placement courses who will receive professional development at AP summer institutes and training sessions throughout the school year.

High school student participation in the Advanced Placement Program in Massachusetts increased over the last two years by 11 percent. In 1998, there were 29,224 AP exams taken, and 32,350 exams taken in 1999. While low-income students make up 25 percent of the student population in Massachusetts, they only account for five percent of those enrolled in Advanced Placement courses and participate in AP exams.

Commissioner Driscoll said, "We are excited about this opportunity to provide greater access to more challenging high school courses by sponsoring about 3,000 low-income and minority students each year through this program. This raises expectations for them to achieve, and I believe that is a crucial element of their future success."

Advanced Placement courses allow students to do college-level work in high school, and to gain valuable skills and study habits for college. With more than 30 AP classes available, students can develop critical thinking and reading skills, along with developing new insights and interests. If a "qualifying" grade on the AP Exam is earned, there are colleges worldwide that will give credit or advanced placement to students.

For more information on the Advanced Placement Program, visit the Department of Education website.

Last Updated: June 23, 2000
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