The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is dedicated to graduating students who are college and career ready. The challenge of preparing students for post-secondary opportunities involves increasing the rigor and expectations of our pre-K to 12 classrooms to better prepare students for the heightened demands of the selective college admissions process and of potential employers.
Launched in the 2016–2017 school year, AP for All is part of NYCDOE’s Equity and Excellence agenda. AP for All aims to ensure that by fall 2021, students at all high schools will have access to at least five AP classes, thereby increasing college and career readiness for all students. To accomplish this goal, AP for All seeks to: expand the number of AP courses within schools that have not historically offered them; increase the equity of AP course enrollment across all schools; and provide necessary supports to schools in order to improve student performance on AP exams.
New AP courses and preparatory courses started in fall 2016, and 75 percent of students will be offered at least five AP classes by fall 2018.
AP for All worked side-by-side with 63 schools to launch 120 new AP courses.
By fall 2021, students at all high schools in New York City will have access to at least five AP classes.
Research shows that students who take Advanced Placement courses and exams are more likely to graduate from college on time. Furthermore, the gains are greatest for low-income students and students of color who have long been underrepresented in AP classes. AP for All seeks to expand the number of AP courses to schools that have not historically offered them, increase the equity of AP course enrollment across all schools, and provide necessary supports to make courses available to English Language Learners and students with disabilities.
In fall 2016, AP for All worked side-by-side with 63 schools to launch 119 new AP courses (including 35 schools that did not offer any AP courses in previous years) and provided 2370 students with access to AP courses. By fall 2021, students at all high schools in New York City will have access to a full slate of at least five AP classes, thereby increasing College and Career Readiness for all students.
AP for All has partnered with the College Board, the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), and Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) to ensure that the schools we serve receive the best guidance, resources, services, and training. AP for All schools are provided with resources such as textbooks and science lab equipment to limit the financial burden of establishing AP courses. School leaders and support staff are guided through professional development and on-site visits to implement new AP courses and to develop capacity for sustaining a high-quality AP program.
Teachers receive free, intensive, and ongoing professional development in their AP content areas through sponsored adult learning sessions, observations, and coaching from Content Area Specialists, Mentors, and Master Teachers or Peer Collaborative Teachers. Teachers and students are also provided with formative assessments that serve both as an instructional tool to measure progress in student learning and as a structured exam experience to support students in preparing for the AP exam. Students are invited to participate in full-day, content-specific Study Sessions to develop their content knowledge and skills, and to further prepare for the spring AP exams—these Study Sessions are offered throughout the year at no cost to students or schools. To get the students’ families involved, AP for All’s AP Parent and Community Engagement (PACE) program helps schools build communities of families, school staff, and students to serve as networks of support for AP students.
In addition to working with schools to implement new AP courses, AP for All is also committed to expanding access to college-level courses in high schools with established AP programs. AP for All, in collaboration with Lead Higher, works to assist schools with cultivating equitable AP course enrollment practices. Lead Higher is operated by EOS and is committed to increasing AP participation among students of color and low-income students who are not currently enrolled in AP courses (“missing students”). New York City is currently the city with the most schools participating in Lead Higher. The project is being evaluated by the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University.
What Are People Saying About AP FOR ALL?
“Even though at times the [AP Environmental Science] class has its challenges, whether it be the amount of work we receive or the depth…of the work, it requires discipline, focus, and dedication, The class has made an impact on my viewpoint on science but [also] on how my actions and the actions of my peers make an impact on the environment we reside/live in.”
“AP for All means opportunity and risk-taking. It gives all students at [The Young Women’s Leadership School] of Astoria access to rigorous classes that will prepare them for college. AP for All allows for students to dive further into the classes that they are passionate about and be challenged in those classes. AP for All is about exposure to courses and focusing on work that interests you, it’s about setting yourself apart in the college admissions process, saving money and, most importantly, building skills for college and career.”