Letter to CGCS Superintendents from David Coleman and Michael Casserly
Letter to CGCS Superintendents from David Coleman and Michael CasserlyMichael Casserly, Executive Director of the Council of the Great City Schools and David Coleman, President and CEO of the College Board
Following his keynote address at the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS) 2014 Annual Fall Conference, College Board President David Coleman joined CGCS Executive Director Michael Casserly to send a joint letter to CGCS superintendents highlighting the importance of Advanced Placement and the critical role superintendents play in the College Board's All In campaign to encourage all African American, Latino, and Native American Students who have potential to enroll in an AP course.
Read the full letter:
November 19, 2014
As a country, we are leaving far too much talent on the table. Too many high achieving African American, Latino, and Native American students — students who have demonstrated the potential to do well in Advanced Placement® (AP®) courses — are not enrolling in those courses. This is an enormous missed opportunity for them and for all of us working for a stronger, fairer, and more secure nation.
The ground that’s been gained for these students has largely been the result of the inspired and dogged work of superintendents, school board members, staff, and teachers in our major cities. The new partnership between the Council of the Great City Schools, the College Board, and the White House — through its My Brother’s Keeper initiative — aims to bolster the good work already under way, share lessons learned as broadly as possible, and dramatically increase the proportion of students of color with AP potential who are enrolled in AP courses. We are pleased to announce that the National Council of La Raza, the National Urban League, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights will also be joining us in this effort.
But the real success of this effort depends on you, your schools, counselors, and teachers. Success — we have learned from leading districts — is a dynamic mixture of good data and human interaction. Without the data, we can’t effectively target outreach and resources. The College Board’s AP Potential™ tool provides critical information about which students have demonstrated — by their performance on the PSAT/NMSQT® — potential to succeed in AP. PSAT/NMSQT scores often uncover academic ability that might otherwise be overlooked, and they spotlight those students ready to be successful in AP. And in focus group after focus group, these students tell us that the single most important factor in their decision to take an AP class was the support and encouragement from adults in their school.
You are in the strongest position to make a difference — by establishing a clear districtwide priority, by setting public goals for improvement, by monitoring progress at individual schools, and by providing guidance and support to your principals as they encourage students with AP potential to take these courses. We at the College Board and the Council of the Great City Schools have found our collaboration to be invaluable, and we believe that you will too. We have asked the College Board’s regional vice presidents to set up meetings in December with each of you. The purpose of these meetings is to:
- Review the PSAT/NMSQT data for your districts and schools;
- Set goals for improving AP enrollment of African American, Native American, and Latino students this spring;
- Identify needs that your district will have in meeting these goals; and
- Assess how the College Board and the Council can help you meet these goals.
For reference, we are including a possible agenda for these meetings.
In the next couple of weeks, a member of the College Board staff will be in touch with you about setting up an initial meeting. In the interim, we invite you to view this webinar about the steps you can take to propel our students forward.
We hope you will consider sharing it with the principals and counselors in your district as well.
Michael Casserly, Executive Director of the Council of the Great City Schools and David Coleman, President and CEO of the College Board