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The model for this recommendation is the Dallas-based AP Incentive Program (APIP),36 which offers financial incentives to prepare teachers to teach demanding courses to ever-increasing numbers of secondary school students. To serve as large a percentage of students as possible, APIP has been coupled with a pre-AP program, Laying the Foundation, which begins in the 6th grade to help students prepare for 11th-and 12th-grade AP and IB examinations. Teachers use vertically aligned lessons based on national standards and final, comprehensive end-of-course examinations to measure mastery of essential concepts. The process continues through middle and high schools to ensure that graduating seniors are prepared for college work.

The foundation for each program is intensive, 4-year professional development, focused on content, delivered by the College Board and by master teachers in local school districts. Assuming satisfactory performance, AP/IB teachers can, under the proposed program, receive annual incentive payments of $1,800 and pre-AP teachers receive annual incentive payments of $1,000. AP/IB teachers also receive a $100 bonus for each student who passes an AP examination in mathematics or science. Pre-AP teachers receive a $25 bonus for each students who passes the end-of-course examination.

To reach currently underserved areas or populations of students with specific learning needs, it might be useful to consider implementing online learning. The University of California College Prep program (UCCP) makes AP courses available to students who enroll individually or as part of a school group. In either case, they have online access to teachers and tutors. The more than 5,000 students currently enrolled are taught by certified teachers and tutored by paid university undergraduates and graduate students.


APIP is part of a statewide initiative to raise educational standards. See Texas Education Agency. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examination Results in Texas, 2001-2002. Doc. No. GE03 601 08. Austin, TX: TEA, 2003. In 2001, the Texas Legislature enacted the Gold Performance Acknowledgement (GPA) system to acknowledge districts and campuses for high performance on indicators not used to determine accountability ratings (TEC, §39.0721, 2001). Included is an AP/IB indicator that measures the percentage of non-special-education students who take an AP or IB examination and the combined percentage of non-special-education examinees at or above the criterion score on at least one AP or IB examination (TEC §39.0721, 2001). The percentage of examinations with high scores on AP or IB was kept as a report-only performance indicator (TEA, 2002). GPA acknowledgment is given when non-special-education 11th- and 12th-graders take at least one AP or IB examination, represent 15% or more of the non-special-education in 11th- and 12th-grade students, and 50% or more of those examinees have at least one score of 3 or above on an AP examination or 4 or above on an IB examination.

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