Education really does pay and some George Rogers Clark High School students are proof.
More than 100 current GRC seniors and 2012 graduates last week were awarded for their hard work in some of the school’s toughest classes.
The students shared $19,800 from the National Math-Science Initiative (NMSI) for their high scores on last year’s end of course Advanced Placement tests in English math and science.
Combined, the students recorded qualifying scores of 3 or 4 on 198 AP tests in the three subjects. NMSI paid for half the cost of taking the AP exams and students were awarded $100 for each qualifying score they received.
Teachers also received $100 for each student they had in their class who posted a qualifying score.
This is GRCs second year participating in the initiative. Last year, GRC students earned $17,200 for their test scores.
“That’s a pretty good hunk of money,” Principal David Bolen said. “The math-science initiative has really paid off when you see the success our students have had through the program. And it has trickled down into the other grades as well.”
Fifty-eight current students received their checks Friday, along with a lunch trip to Raising Cane’s in Lexington. Checks were mailed to the former students last week.
NMSI began as a response to a 2005 National Academies report titled “Rising above the Gathering Storm,” that detailed the urgency for dramatically improving K-12 math and science education and the declining number of students who are unprepared to take rigorous college math and science courses.
The public-private partnership is funded by donors such as Exxon Mobile and the Bill and Melinda Gates and Michael and Susan Dell foundations.
The goals of NMSI are raising student achievement from first grade through college and to improve current and future math and science teachers in K-12 by providing training for schools participating in the initiative.
NMSI paid for 19 AP English, math and science teachers from GRC to attend training at the AP institute the past two summers, something Bolen said was wouldn’t have been possible without the grant.
“The training alone is about $1,200 for one teacher. We couldn’t afford to pay for all the teachers to go to that training, so that is really big for us,” Bolen said.
Along with the training, the grant also provides money for schools to purchase equipment for the classrooms, which Bolen said, would pay off for years to come.
“The grant gives us so much money per student to pay for some equipment for those classes, so we will be reaping the benefits of the grant for many years,” Bolen said.
GRC has one year left on the grant but Bolen said it has proven so successful that he is hopeful that the school district will be able to find a way to continue the incentive program.
Contact Bob Flynn at bflynn