State Board Policy
DESCRIPTOR TERM: Access to a Substantive and Rigorous Curriculum Policy
ADOPTION DATE: December 15, 2006
REVISION: December 19, 2012
I. In compliance with Section 37-15-39 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, the purpose of this policy is to ensure that each student has a sufficient education for success after high school and that all students have equal access to a substantive and rigorous curriculum that is designed to challenge their minds and enhance their knowledge. The intent of this policy is to increase the preparation of all students for and their participation in substantive and rigorous curriculum experiences and specifically in Advanced Placement Courses and innovative programs authorized by the State Board of Education.
II. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, all high schools must offer at least one (1) Advanced Placement (AP) course in each of the four (4) core areas (mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies). Distance learning or the Mississippi Department of Education's Mississippi Virtual Public School may be used as an appropriate alternative for the delivery of AP courses. Any public high school implementing innovative programs authorized by the State Board of Education is exempt from Part II of this policy.
III. All school districts may offer Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) courses in each of the four (4) core areas (mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies). Pre-AP course means a middle, junior high and/or high school level course that specifically prepares students to enroll and participate in an AP course. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, if Pre-AP courses are offered, the school district must submit a Pre-Advanced Placement Program Proposal to the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Curriculum and Instruction. The proposal must indicate the Pre-AP courses that will be offered and the College Board training that the Pre-AP teachers will obtain in order to teach the Pre-AP courses. The proposal must also indicate the process for identifying students for Pre-AP courses. Each teacher planning to teach a Pre-AP course must have completed the College Board's Pre-AP Summer Institute, Vertical Teams Training, the Pre-AP Workshop, or other training specifically designed for Pre-AP teachers. The district is responsible for providing documentation (when requested) of participation in the Pre-AP training. The Pre-AP Program Proposal will be approved for a period of five years. Whenever a district makes changes to the Pre-AP Program, the district shall submit a new Pre-AP Program Proposal Form to the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Curriculum and Instruction for approval prior to implementing changes. Any public high school implementing innovative programs authorized by the State Board of Education is exempt from Part III of this policy.
IV. Subject to appropriation, funding shall be made available so that all sophomores in Mississippi’s public schools may take an examination (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) or ACT PLAN Assessment) that measures the students' ability to succeed in an AP course. The examination results should be used to identify students who were not recognized during middle school as students who would benefit from taking AP courses.
V. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, each teacher planning to teach any AP course must have completed the College Board endorsed AP Summer Institute (APSI) for the course and must have obtained the AP certification through the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Educator Licensure. Documentation showing completion of the College Board APSI is required. Teachers with the AP certification must comply with Licensure renewal guidelines. AP teachers must complete the AP Summer Institute (APSI) at least every five years, which can be used for licensure renewal if completed during the validity period. Teachers in districts implementing innovative programs authorized by the State Board of Education must have completed a district or program-specific training or other training specifically designed for teachers of innovative programs authorized by the State Board of Education.
Exception: Teachers who have served with Educational Testing Service as readers for the AP exam(s) may have the initial training waived and will automatically earn the AP certification if the appropriate documentation is provided. These teachers should complete the APSI at least every five years or serve as a reader for the AP exam(s) at least every five years.