The National Math and Science Initiative has announced a three-year, $26 million grant from ExxonMobil on behalf of its subsidiary XTO Energy, Inc. to expand NMSI's College Readiness Program in western Pennsylvania.
With the goal of helping schools improve participation and success rates for Advanced Placement courses and better prepare students for college and STEM-intensive careers, NMSI will partner with about forty schools to enhance teacher effectiveness and student performance in math, science, and English. The program includes training, vertical teaming, support for teachers and students, and various incentives.
Nine schools in Pennsylvania currently participate in the program, including Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy and Brashear High School, which joined the initiative in 2013 with support from the Heinz Endowments. After just one year, the two schools ranked first and second in the state with respect to the percentage increase in AP qualifying scores in math and science, while the seven schools that joined in 2015 saw an average 51 percent increase in math, science, and English AP scores — more than ten times the average increase across the state.
"The College Readiness Program is raising the academic bar in Pennsylvania and across the nation," said NMSI president Gregg Fleisher. "We're grateful that companies like ExxonMobil realize the value of STEM education and are committed to ensuring that our future workforce is better equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful."