Higher math, science and English scores, particularly among minority students, are the first-year hallmarks of Project Opening Doors (POD), a National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI)-funded initiative administered in Connecticut by CBIA.
POD uses a combination of enhanced teacher training, teacher incentives, student scholarships, student prep sessions and master teacher mentoring to achieve better results—a fact confirmed by Advanced Placement test results released by the College Board.
"This project proves that all students, including those in the inner cities and low income populations, if given the chance, are capable of learning at higher levels,” said Governor M. Jodi Rell. “Together we must continue our efforts to support programs that successfully provide students with the education they need to be successful in college and the workforce—because today's students are tomorrow's leaders and Connecticut 's future.”
According to State Education Commissioner Mark McQuillan, the results "confirm our belief that more and more of our students are interested in taking part in rigorous coursework and demanding curriculum today. I know that this will provide a foundation for new policy as we move toward secondary school reform in Connecticut .”
This year, the nine Connecticut districts participating in POD increased their passing rate for math, science, and English AP exams by 12% overall—more than twice the national average and three times the overall state average. What's more, the program significantly boosted the number of AP exams taken and passed by minority students.
The nine high schools participating in POD are Ansonia , Bulkeley ( Hartford ), Coventry , East Hartford, New Britain , New London , Putnam, West Hill ( Stamford ), and Wilby (Waterbury).
Beginning in September, 12 more Connecticut high schools from across the state are joining the initiative, providing students, especially those in underserved minority groups, the opportunity to be successful participants in the future workforce. The new schools are: The Academy of Engineering and Green Technology, Hartford; Bacon High School, Colchester; Bloomfield High School; Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School, New Haven; Hill Regional Career High School, New Haven; Bassick High School, Bridgeport; Parish Hill High School, Chaplin; Plainville High School; Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven; Windham High School, Willimantic; Windsor High School; and Windsor Locks High School.
With a high-tech economy requiring advanced skills in math and science, it is essential that Connecticut 's young people have the skills necessary for today's highly competitive global marketplace.