Published on October 21st, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Richland Two Presented With $1.3 Million STEM Grant
Pictured left to right: Richland Two Assistant Superintendent Keith Price, Ridge View High Principal Dr. Brenda Mack-Foxworth, Blythewood High Principal Dr. Brenda Hafner, Richland Two Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis and Richland Two Board of Trustees Chairman Craig Plank.
Columbia, SC – Key military, education and state elected leaders gathered at the South Carolina Military Base Task Force to celebrate a $1.3 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). The grant, funded by the US Department of Defense, provides Richland School District Two with the resources to implement NMSI’s College Readiness Program in two high schools with the majority of children from military families serving at Fort Jackson. Implementation of the program began with the start of the 2017-18 school year.
“Our military men and women sacrifice each and every day to protect our country and the freedoms it offers all of us, and this is another tremendous example of how we can thank them for all that they do,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “We’ve already seen NMSI produce terrific results in schools across our state, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to expand the program to benefit as many South Carolina students as we can.”
Dr. Baron R. Davis, Richland Two Superintendent, remarked at today’s celebration “Richland Two is proud to join the national network of school systems partnering with NMSI to produce better educational outcomes for our military families. Our teachers have already benefitted from the superb training and additional supports. Our students are benefitting from the increased rigor in the classroom and extra time on task provided by the Saturday Study Sessions. We look forward to potentially expanding this successful evidence-based program into more of our high schools over the coming years.”
A significant part of the program is the requirement that students take the Advanced Placement (AP) exam. A successful score of 3 or higher on the AP 5-point scale illustrates mastery of college-level skills and knowledge and qualifies students for course credit at the majority of U.S. colleges and universities.
South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, highlighted South Carolina’s continued success with NMSI program implementation over the past two years as an indication of great things to come in Richland Two. “The six South Carolina high schools that have completed at least year one of their NMSI program implementation produced an aggregated 73% first-year increase in successful AP math and science exams. These stellar outcomes, more than ten times the national average, are the direct result of the hard work of parents, teachers and students and the strong school partnership with the NMSI College Readiness Program.”
SC Military Base Task Force Chairman, Mr. Bill Bethea said, “The education offered to military children directly impacts family quality of life and the vibrancy of the installation community. Moreover, the availability of high-quality education has been repeatedly identified by the nation’s most senior military and civilian DoD leadership as core to overall mission readiness. We must always do more to ensure we’re providing the very best education, and highly successful partners like NMSI are precisely what we need for all military families stationed here in South Carolina.”
Marcus Lingenfelter, NMSI senior vice president, praised the state and local leadership and their eagerness to embrace the Military Families Mission. “We proudly welcome Richland Two and the entire Fort Jackson community into the NMSI family. If our results to-date at our other program sites in South Carolina are any guide, we will be here next year celebrating tremendous student success.”
Lingenfelter highlighted the fact that NMSI’s College Readiness Program has been previously launched in Dorchester County School District Two and Berkeley County School District serving the families of Joint Base Charleston. More recently, Aiken County Schools, serving dependents of Fort Gordon, successfully completed their first year of program implementation. Charleston County School District is the other 2017-18 program site with grant funding from both The Boeing Company and U.S. Department of Defense.
The NMSI Military Families Mission, funded by the Department of Defense and private sector partners, has been formally serving schools educating the children of uniformed active duty military families since 2010. As of fall 2017, the NMSI College Readiness Program has been implemented in 217 military-connected high schools across 30 states and serving 93 installations of all four military services. The mission of the program is to provide consistent and rigorous STEM education offerings at the public high schools educating the overwhelming majority of DoD children, to document and validate the student learning outcomes of those offerings via the Advanced Placement framework and assessment, and to enhance the K-12 STEM education pipeline necessary to supply the future scientist and engineer workforce – both uniformed and civilian.
Advanced Placement® and AP® are registered trademarks of the College Board.
About the National Math and Science Initiative:
NMSI, a national nonprofit organization, breaks down barriers to access in education and prepares all students to graduate college and be career ready. Launched in 2007, NMSI’s programs improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness, particularly in math and science, through scalable solutions rooted in local partnerships. NMSI has received national recognition for programs benefiting school communities nationwide, including the College Readiness Program for AP teachers and students, the Laying the Foundation Program for non- AP teachers in grades 3-12, and the UTeach Expansion Program that is preparing the next generation of great STEM teachers. For more information, visit www.nms.org.