The right solution for AP® success

Students in North Carolina school district excel in national biology exam with AP advantage by McGraw-Hill Education
By: | Issue: June, 2016 | Case Study
April 19, 2016

Lyceum Academy offers a rigorous, fully integrated AP® and honors-based curriculum at New Hanover High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. This 200-student “school within a school,” part of the most diverse school in New Hanover County, attracts students ready to face an educational challenge.

Because all Lyceum students must take AP exams, it is critical to offer a comprehensive program that helps students throughout the course and builds confidence for the college-level tests. Gordon Massengill, Dean of Lyceum and science teacher, said McGraw-Hill Education’s AP advantage helped his students succeed.

An education game changer
The AP advantage suite consists of three steps. The first step, ONboard™, provides course preparation, helping students develop foundational knowledge and skills before class begins.

The second step, McGraw-Hill Connect®, is a digital assignment and assessment platform that provides a single place to share instruction and coursework. Educators can deliver flexible and innovative instruction and students can participate in adaptive learning opportunities. This interactive experience helps students stay engaged with AP course content.

“Thanks to Connect, teachers see each attempt every student makes on every assignment. It gives them sign-on and sign-off times, total duration on the actual assignment, and alerts them if there are students who are falling behind,” says Massengill.

In SCOREboard™, the final step of the series, students have the chance to review content knowledge and to identify gaps in their learning. Educators are given the actionable feedback they need to provide even more reinforcement. SCOREboard also offers complete practice tests that match the rigor and format of AP exams.

“The feedback SCOREboard provides teachers helps them identify and provide extra help to students in their areas of weakness,” says Massengill.

Putting the program to the test
Massengill introduced AP advantage to 11th-grade biology students in the 2014-15 school year.

“Results in May of that first year on the 2015 AP Biology Exams were simply phenomenal,” says Massengill. “I could not be any more pleased with the AP advantage suite.”

Results were immediate and impressive. In 2013, juniors scored an average of 2.56 on the AP Biology Exam’s 5-point scale. Half the students scored a 3, three scored a 1 and four scored a 4. No student scored a 5.

“We moved our 3s to 4s between 2013 and 2015, as it was roughly the same number of juniors earning 4s in 2015 as earned 3s two years earlier,” says Massengill. “And no one got a 1 score, which was amazing in such a short time.”

Juniors at Lyceum beat the national average on the AP Biology Exam on two fronts: their overall average score was 3.34 versus the U.S. average of 2.90, and 77 percent of Lyceum students’ scores qualified for college credit versus 64 percent nationally.

“I think the way all the tools work together is what gave us our home run on the AP Exams,” says Massengill. “With AP advantage in the mix, we moved everybody up.”

AP®, Advanced Placement® and Advanced Placement Program® are trademarks registered by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these products.

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