Administrative News & Views: Raising expectations for student learningDistrict teachers and administrators have been working on raising expectations for student learning across all schools, and high school Advanced Placement course registration is evidence of progress.
By: Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten, Superintendent, Hudson Star-Observer
District teachers and administrators have been working on raising expectations for student learning across all schools, and high school Advanced Placement course registration is evidence of progress. The high school just completed course registration for the 2009-10 school year, and students signed up to take 33 percent more AP courses than the previous year. There are significant increases in the number of students registered in AP calculus, AP American history, AP literature and composition, and strong interest in our new AP government course.
The district offers 11 AP courses covering specific content in language arts, studio art, world languages, social studies, math, science and computer programming. Students enrolled in AP courses gain college credit if the student scores a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP year-end national exam. The benefits to students include a head start on college course work, saving college tuition money; rigorous national course content as preparation for college; and value added to the student’s college application. Similar to AP course registration, numbers are also strong in our newest courses that are being added next year, Project Lead the Way (pre-engineering) and Mandarin Chinese.
The district is expecting more from our students, and they are meeting the challenge. Last year AP students demonstrated academic excellence by passing 83 percent of the AP exams. Hudson students are passing AP exams at a much higher rate than their state (67 percent) and national (57 percent) peers.
Our students are meeting this challenge with the support and best practices for learning provided by our teachers. A recent report made to the Board of Education by the high school biology teachers highlighted the behind-the-scenes effort that is front and center for student success. Teaching staff are working to determine improved, common assessment measures that aid students and teachers in understanding the student’s present level of learning and next steps. Responsibility for successful learning is shared between the student and the teacher. Students start a course with a clear understanding of expectations and what is required. Throughout a course, students are given feedback on knowledge and skills they have securely attained and also areas that are still developing.
High school evidence of higher expectations for student learning is an example of what is happening across the district. In each school from elementary through high school, teachers and administrators are busy collaborating and improving professional practice to further develop a culture of learning with high expectations, high levels of support and high accountability. We are movin’ on up in the Hudson schools.