To help schools prepare students for college and/or the workforce, Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12, a nonprofit service organization that provides professional development and program support to school personnel, has partnered with Kaplan K12 Learning Services, a leading provider of skill building solutions for academic success and college readiness. This goal becomes increasingly important as Texas adjusts to a new landscape with the implementation of House Bill 5 (HB 5). HB 5 is shifting how schools prepare young people for college and careers through a diversified curriculum.
HB 5 initiated changes to the Texas Education Code (TEC) in a number of areas including curriculum, accountability, assessment and graduation planning. Students must now meet indicators to be deemed “college ready” in order to attempt earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
HB 5 encourages students to pursue Advanced Placement (AP) coursework to help them meet graduation requirements and earn endorsements. Through AP coursework, students can also achieve a performance acknowledgement on their diploma. The Texas Education Agency recently announced that the number of Texas graduates taking at least one Advanced Placement Program ® (AP ®) Exam has more than doubled during the past decade. The number of low-income graduates taking at least one AP Exam has more than quadrupled, and the number of Hispanic/Latino graduates taking AP has nearly tripled over the last ten years. This expansion has resulted in a significant increase in the number of qualifying AP Exam scores typically required for college credit. Through this partnership, Kaplan will offer a program to supplement the core AP classroom and help students prepare for specific written-exam formats.
“Schools are working hard to transition to the new graduation plans and offer flexibility to students to find what interests them most and successfully transition to college or the workforce, said Dr. Jerry Maze, executive director for ESC Region 12. “As their partner, we are excited to offer a cost-saving and timely solution to help schools bolster their efforts to prepare students and staff with additional and customizable courses, test preparation and financial and graduation planning that will help them meet or exceed HB 5 requirements.”