Schools in military families initiative report record AP results


Four Initiative for Military Families (IMF) public high schools in Hawaii achieved a combined 68 percent increase in qualifying scores in Advanced Placement math, science and English in the first year of the program.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi, and State Rep. Mark Takai joined educators, students, and military and state officials at Mililani High to celebrate student achievement gains from the National Math and Science Initiative.

​​The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) announced that four Initiative for Military Families (IMF) public high schools in Hawaii achieved a combined 68 percent increase in qualifying scores in Advanced Placement* math, science and English in the first year of the program.

“These results are phenomenal. They will open doors to college for these students. Many of them have parents who are serving our country and have had to make sacrifices themselves,” said Gregg Fleisher, Senior Vice President of the National Math and Science Initiative. “This Initiative for Military Families is giving students here the skills they will need to succeed in a more complicated world.”

The results were announced Thursday at the Mililani High School Auditorium with the participation of Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, State Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Assistant State Superintendent Pat Park, State Rep. Mark Takai, USCG Commander Bryan Dailey from the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), and Dr. John Brummel, Principal of Mililani High School. Also present were Radford High School Principal Dr. Elias Ali, Mililani High School Principal Dr. John Brummel, and Leilehua High School Vice Principal Sandra Yoshimi.

Fleisher pointed out that the four IMF high schools — Mililani, Radford, Campbell and Leilehua — accounted for 82 percent of the state’s increase in qualifying AP math, science and English scores in Hawaii. The four schools ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the increase in the number of qualifying math, science and English scores in the state.

'Results speak for themselves'

“These improved scores are reflective of similar progress we have made statewide,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “This partnership is a critical part of our efforts to support Hawaii’s public schools. It helps our teachers engage and challenge students to graduate with skills that will allow them to pursue their dreams and keep America competitive in a global economy.”

State Rep. K. Mark Takai (D-Aiea/Pearl City), who helped to introduce NMFI in Hawaii a few years ago, said, “The success of this program, which should be in every school in Hawaii, shows how the DOE and the military can work together for the betterment of Hawaii students.”

Commander Dailey also endorsed expanding the AP program throughout the state so all Hawaii schools could benefit, not just those serving students from military families.

“The importance of a curriculum rich in Math and Science cannot be understated," he said. "The military is a reflection of society and the jobs that young people have entering the service are more technical and complex than ever. Having the opportunity in high school to challenge yourself academically will pay huge dividends as you move into the work force or seek higher education.”

“These impressive results speak for themselves,” said Supt. Matayoshi. “Educators in the Initiative for Military Families are driving achievement gains through high-quality, rigorous courses that will prepare students for college and careers.”

Program open to all eligible students

Although the IMF targets military dependents of personnel at five bases (Hickam AFB, Schofield Barracks, Tripler Medical Center, USCG ISG Honolulu, NCTAMS PAC), the program is open to all high school students at the participating schools who are eligible for Advanced Placement classes. Program requirements include additional tutoring and study sessions outside of normal school hours as well as additional training for teachers.

"Mililani High School has been very proud of being part of the NMSI initiative,” said Mililani High School Principal John Brummel. “In 2012, we had 448 students taking AP courses. This is the highest it’s ever been at our school. Through the support of the NMSI grant, we’ve been able have 60% of our students scoring a 3 or above on their AP exams. This puts us right at the national average. Generally speaking, this serves to support my teachers and their instructional strategies for teaching AP courses and encourages them to continue their good work."

The overall goal of IMF is to support children in America’s military families by providing consistent, high-quality coursework through NMSI’s highly successful Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP). Access to the college-level courses gives students the opportunity to earn college credit for advanced coursework and significantly increases their chances of succeeding in college. Students who pass an AP exam are three times more likely to complete their college education.

The IMF was launched in 2010 in four school sites, two near Fort Campbell, Ky., and two near Fort Hood, Texas. The program expanded in Fall 2011 to 29 high schools in 10 states that are serving high concentrations of students from military families, and 52 high schools in 15 states in Fall 2012.

Almost 2 million young people in America have a parent serving in the military today. More than 220,000 of those young people have at least one parent deployed overseas. The long separations, concerns about safety, and frequent transfers can be particularly hard on the children whose parents protect our country. Many students in military families are transferred six to nine times during their school career — often two times in high school. Each move means a transition with a new school system and new standards. Because the AP curriculum is uniform across the country, the IMF provides continuity for students when their families are transferred.

Inaugural funding to launch the IMF in 2010 was provided by Lockheed Martin Corporation. Major funding to add high schools is being provided by the Army Education Outreach Program, BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), the Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research as well as Northrop Grumman.

Advanced Placement courses

A complete list of AP courses offered by Hawaii's public schools.

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