Superintendent recognized in Washington, D.C. for commitment to AP courses for all

Oct 04, 2016 | Community Relations

Reid Saaris, Founder, Equal Opportunity Schools and Lead Higher, Dr. Thomas Randle, Superintendent, Lamar CISD, Dr Shelley Redinger, Superintendent, Spokane Public Schools, Ron Severson, Superintendent, Roseville Joint Union High School Distric, Broderick Johnson, Assistant to the President, Cabinet Secretary and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Superintendent, Arlington Public Schools, Dr. David Larson, Superintendent, Glenbard School District 87, Christy Perry, Superintendent, Salem-Keizer Public Schools and Dr. Michael Cowan, Superintendent, Mesa Public Schools.

Lamar CISD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Randle was one of six superintendents from across the nation recognized in Washington, D.C. for his commitment to “Lead Higher.”

The Lead Higher event, hosted by Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, recognized the educators for their work to increase the number of underrepresented students participating in Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

The superintendents also participated in a panel discussion, describing their efforts to find the students missing from AP classes. 

Broderick Johnson, Assistant to the President, Cabinet Secretary and Chair of the My Brother's Keeper Task Force, spoke at the event, saying, "We applaud the tremendous progress EOS and all its partners have made to ignite the potential of thousands more traditionally underrepresented students across the country.” 

Last school year, Lamar CISD implemented EOS programs at Lamar Consolidated and Terry high schools.

The EOS program is designed to examine AP offerings on each campus and then use strategies to find underrepresented groups of students and encourage their participation in AP courses. 

“In Lamar CISD, we want to ensure all of our students have equal access to our most rigorous courses,” said Randle. “What we’ve found by working with EOS is that hundreds of our students were more than capable of excelling in AP courses—they just never had the information or encouragement to enroll.” 

In just one year, Lamar CISD added 373 AP students at Lamar Consolidated and Terry high schools.

This year, the District is expanding EOS strategies to Foster and George Ranch high schools.

According to EOS, Latino, African-American and low-income students are equitably included in AP courses at less than one percent of the diverse high schools in the U.S with sizable AP programs. Research by the Education Trust and Equal Opportunity Schools found that about 600,000 talented low-income students and minority students are stuck literally just across the hall from AP classes. 

The EOS program is only part of Lamar CISD’s dedication to rigorous academics. 
The District is one of 130 school districts in the United States—and one of only 21 in Texas—placed on the Gaston Caperton Opportunity Honor Roll. 

Lamar CISD was also one of 425 school districts in the U.S. and Canada—and only of only 25 in Texas—being honored by the College Board with placement on the 6th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. 

Districts featured on both honor rolls expanded access to AP courses, while also simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.