AP Day under the Gold Dome: Georgia Students Advocate for Increased AP Access
AP Day under the Gold Dome: Georgia Students Advocate for Increased AP AccessMaria Alcon-Heraux, Director, Communications
More than a hundred Advanced Placement students from at least 19 Georgia high schools filled the marble staircase of the State Capitol on January 25 for the second annual Georgia AP Day on the Hill to take a picture with Governor Nathan Deal.
For many of these students, this was the first time they walked through the halls of their state capitol. The students spent the day meeting with state legislators to advocate for AP and getting a wonderful civics experience; they even had the chance to sit in on education committee meetings and see the Georgia State House and Senate in action.
(Photo: Georgia State Senator Bill Cowsert meets with Monroe Area High School AP students)
Anna Lee from Pike County High School, who got to meet with Rep. Mike Glanton, Rep. Michael Caldwell, and Sen. Marty Harbin, said she really enjoyed the day. “It showed me that students do have a voice with our government,” she said.
Rosa Venegas from Osborne High School said she advocated for AP access because she wanted “students to have the same opportunities as I do to take AP courses.”
Rosa is one of 99,095 students who took at least one AP Exam in Georgia in 2017. More than 58,000 of those students scored a 3 or higher on their AP Exams, which can translate into more than $80 million in college costs savings. Currently, the state pays for one AP STEM exam for all students. Additional funding is needed to help low-income students to take AP exams for free.
(Photo : Frederick Douglass High School AP students meet with Georgia State Senator Horacena Tate)
In the morning, House Education Chairman Brooks Coleman, Senate Education Chairman Lindsey Tippins, and Vice Chair of the House Education Committee Valencia Stovall came to speak with the students about the importance of their hard work in AP. During lunchtime, students heard from several speakers—including State Superintendent Richard Woods and Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Dr. Caitlin McMunn Dooley—who talked about college and career outcomes for AP students and took questions from eager students. Some also sat in on a Joint House and Senate Education Committee meeting to listen to legislators discuss the education issues Georgia faces today.
Rodina Cummings, a senior at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, came to AP Day because she wanted legislators to know that AP is about saving money for college and much more. “AP is so important to me because it is going to make college so much easier for me, and so much more stress free,” she said.
(Photo caption: AP Students from Marietta High School take a picture on the State Capitol steps)
Jason Rohloff, vice president, Policy and Government Relations for the College Board, felt the day was a success. “It’s clear to me we moved the ball down the field yesterday in Georgia on AP Exam fees and the need for a uniform AP credit policy. I’m confident we’ll do the same in other states if we have more days like yesterday.”
Hailey Ferrel, a senior from Thomas County Central High School, summed up the day best: “I am at the Georgia Capitol today to talk to the legislators and everyone about how important AP is to my future, and how I want it to be important to other people’s futures as well.”