In 2011, MIE began its partnership with Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS), the largest school district in the state of Louisiana. At the time, JPPSS had a letter grade of a “D” on the state’s A-F district grading system. MIE initially performed a district diagnostic assessment that provided a nuanced examination of how the district’s central office was serving schools. Based on the findings, MIE helped the district reorganize its central office services in order to provide more direct, streamlined support to schools.
With key structures in place at the district’s central office, JPPSS has pushed to ensure students graduate ready for college. In Massachusetts, MIE has built a track record of success in giving low-income students and students of color greater access to rigorous, college-level Advanced Placement (AP) coursework in core English, math and science subjects. Responding to the need to get more students college-ready, MIE started work with two JPPSS high schools on expanding access to AP coursework in 2013. MIE’s AP Content Directors, who have multiple years of experience teaching AP courses, have helped schools bring more students into AP courses and have given AP teachers in-depth training. They have supplemented this training with ongoing resources and coaching, visiting AP classes regularly and running study sessions for students. MIE has also worked with guidance counselors at JPPSS schools to help students become more aware of their post-secondary options.
MIE expanded to working with four of the district’s 12 high schools in 2014, and the results have been astounding. Enrollment in AP science, math, and English courses in partner schools has risen from 192 to 910 – 374% – and will continue to grow as the district aims to provide a world-class education for all students. AP teachers and school administrators are “confident that we are sending kids to college now who are much better prepared to succeed,” and they have found MIE’s support to be “essential” to improving the size and quality of their AP courses.
Overall, the district’s letter grade has risen from a “D” to a “B,” and the number of schools earning a “D” or “F” letter grade from the district has more than halved (See more details on the 2014-2015 report card issued by the Louisiana Department of Education here). In January 2016 Superintendent Isaac Joseph said, “The expectations are high in Jefferson Parish…As our students adjust to these rising expectations and our teachers continue to engage students in innovative ways, our district will move closer and closer to being the first choice for all stakeholders.”
My experience this past year with Mass Insight (Education) has been nothing short of amazing. Although I have been teaching AP English Language and Composition for several years now, this year has been the most rewarding in terms of available materials, resources, workshops, opportunities for collaborations with colleagues from around the country, and the excellent team of experts available to answer any and all questions that I had. Thank you for your support this year! I am a better AP teacher because of your team!
AP English Language and Composition Teacher at JPPSS