A non-profit program is being credited for boosting Oklahoma's sagging test scores in math and science The news follows last week's announcement of poor ACT results in those areas statewide.
At the capitol Tuesday, students from Lawton and Mid-Del schools were honored for their high scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams in math, science and english courses. It's part of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI).
In six schools that adopted this program, the passing scores increased by 150% in the first year, compared to about 15% in Oklahoma and 8% nationally. Saturday sessions and specially-trained teachers are just two reasons behind the program's success.
"For the type of young people that will be our future leaders in Oklahoma, this is just wonderful for the state and we're so excited," Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Janet Barresi, said.
Auston Stiefer, a senior at Eisenhower High School, said the AP courses inspired him to become a doctor.
"Our teachers explained, 'hey in the real world, this is how people use this information'," he said, "and that opened doors to help me volunteer in the community at a hospital."
With passing scores in the AP program, students can earn college credits - even cash. With private funding help, Barresi said the cost of the program is $265 per student.
This year, Tulsa Memorial, U.S. Grant and Enid high schools will be added to the program.
Three additional schools will adopt the program every year.