North East Independent School District Named a College Board Advanced Placement® District of the Year: A First for Texas

District Recognized For Increasing Access And Performance, Particularly For Traditionally Underserved Minority Students

SAN ANTONIO — North East Independent School District (NEISD) in San Antonio, Texas, has been named a College Board Advanced Placement® Equity and Excellence District of the Year for being the national leader among large school districts in expanding access to Advanced Placement Program ®(AP®) courses while simultaneously improving AP Exam performance. NEISD students, teachers, district and school administrators, and College Board leadership will celebrate these achievements today during an award ceremony at Churchill High School.

"The College Board is proud to recognize the students, faculty, and administrators of North East Independent School District for their innovation and commitment to setting high standards for student achievement," said College Board President David Coleman. "I applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in this district who are fostering rigorous work worth doing. Congratulations on being the first school district in Texas to receive this recognition."

In November 2012, NEISD was one of a record 539 school districts across the U.S. and Canada that achieved placement on the annual AP District Honor Roll. From this list, three AP Districts of the Year — one for each category of district population size: small, medium and large — were selected based on an analysis of three academic years of AP data. From 2009-10 to 2011-12, NEISD:

  • Simultaneously and continuously increased the number of students taking AP classes while improving successful outcomes (a score of 3 or better) on AP Exams, with over half of all AP students scoring a 3 or better in 2012;
  • Increased student participation in AP by 8 percent annually and the percentage of students scoring a 3 or better on at least one AP Exam by 3 percent annually; and
  • Increased the percentage of traditionally underserved minority AP students earning a 3 or above on at least one AP Exam by 8 percent annually — an increase of 239 students since 2010.

Increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program, indicating that the district is successfully preparing a larger array of its students for the rigor of AP and college studies.

"The North East Independent School District is humbled to receive this award from the College Board," said NEISD Superintendent of Schools Brian G. Gottardy. "Our teachers and administrators are dedicated to reaching every child, every day, and this accolade acknowledges the district’s commitment to success for all students. We have put support structures in place to provide AP opportunities to a diverse group of students, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college. As a result, our efforts to increase AP participation and success are opening doors for more students to pursue their dreams after high school."

In 1990, NEISD administrators began bracing for a demographic shift and student population boom they knew would impact the district in a profound way. To better accommodate the growing community while improving support systems for students, administrators introduced "Vision 2000," a 10-year strategic plan to refurbish district facilities, introduce new health care and counseling services, and commit to educational access and excellence for all students. As a result, NEISD has developed a culture focused on not only improving academic outcomes but also blending classroom achievement, college and career guidance for families, medical care, and early outreach to middle school students into a holistic approach to educational equity. The district continues these efforts under the "Vision 2020"plan.

"NEISD has succeeded in aligning and focusing an entire community — from principals and teachers, to parents and students — on the goal of college and career readiness," said Trevor Packer, senior vice president responsible for the Advanced Placement Program. "The leadership this district shows in expanding opportunity for students while maintaining high standards for excellence is visionary and the dedication to their students is exemplary."

North East Independent School District is the large district — defined as 50,000 or more students — selected to receive this year’s College Board Advanced Placement Equity and Excellence District of the Year Award. In addition to celebratory events at the district level, all three winning districts will be honored in Las Vegas during the 2013 AP Annual Conference in July.

Media Contact:

Kate Levin 212-713-8052 [email protected]

About the Advanced Placement Program®

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies — with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both — while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue — skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them, and research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores — more than 3,600 institutions worldwide annually receive AP scores. In the last decade, participation in the AP Program has more than doubled and graduates succeeding on AP Exams have nearly doubled. In May 2012, 2.1 million students representing more than 18,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.7 million AP Exams.