The Shelby County Board of Education recently recognized several teachers who participated in the A+ College Ready eighth-grade English and Math pilot program.
According to Rhonda Mack, Middle School Program Area Specialist, the teachers who were honored included Dorothy Moore from Calera Middle School; Audra Edwards and Telura Hamilton from Montevallo Middle School; and Erica Davis and Allison Davison from Vincent Middle High School.
The pilot program specifically recruited schools that had National Math and Science Initiative “Laying the Foundation” (LTF) trained teachers who teach either eighth-grade Algebra 1 or English Language Arts (ELA). All of the teachers who participated from Shelby County are ELA teachers.
The teacher and a school administrator in each pilot school agreed to implement a rigorous Laying the Foundation infused course to at least 80 percent faithfulness. Teachers who agreed to participate were provided a $1,000 equipment bonus. An additional equipment stipend of $500 was also promised to teachers if 40 percent of the students increased their ACT Aspire score by three or more points in one year or if 50 percent of the class met or exceeded the specified college readiness benchmark.
“The assumption of the pilot was that when Laying the Foundation infused courses are implemented faithfully by teachers from AMSTI (Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative) and ARI (Alabama Reading Initiative) schools and they are given the resources they need to be successful, the number of students who increase their college readiness score will increase significantly in one year,” said Mack.
To test this assumption, scores from the 2015 ACT Aspire exam administered in math and English were compared to the 2014 scores for the same group of students. Both the change in the number of students reaching the college-ready benchmark in the eighth-grade class as well as overall score changes of each student were tracked.
“All five of our English Langauge Arts teachers who participated met the requirements of at least 40 percent of the students increasing their ACT Aspire score by three or more points,” said Mack.
* Note: Dorothy Moore and Audra Edwards were not present at the meeting and are not pictured above.