The Partners that Make the College Board Stronger
The Partners that Make the College Board StrongerMaria Eugenia Alcon-Heraux, Director, Media Relations
“Partnerships are central to what we do,” said College Board President and CEO David Coleman at the start of the “Next Generation Partnerships” roundtable at Forum 2015. “We need to be more honest about where our work is strong and where we need help, and I am so grateful for them.”
One of those partners that make us stronger is bringing the U.S. Constitution to life with technology. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, has led the development of the Interactive Constitution. With this innovative tool, students can explore the historic roots of each amendment, compare U.S. and international protections, and read opposing views to the interpretation of each amendment. “I believe this exercise of civil discourse does have the potential to transform constitutional education in America,” said Rosen. AP U.S. History teachers are already using this tool, and Rosen hopes all students will use the Interactive Constitution to learn about history and become more informed citizens.
Coleman also introduced Fidel Vargas, president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), as the “leader of a revolutionary effort engaging students in their work.” HSF uses data from the PSAT/NMSQT to identify Hispanic students for scholarship opportunities. Vargas pointed out that one thing that often gets overlooked is that 93 percent of Latinos under the age of 18 living in the United States are U.S. citizens, and that’s important to keep in mind when considering the country’s future. To date, HSF has awarded more than half a billion dollars to over 6,500 Latino students and alumni. “As a nation, whether we are training leaders to go into politics or into science or into law, there is a training and a mentorship that in some ways has been lost,” said Vargas, “so it’s not just the scholarships we give these students, it’s the support — the mentorship we are providing — that is making the real difference in accelerating their career paths.”
Another man focused on propelling careers forward is Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org, another College Board partner. “Hadi has an ambitious and timely agenda that is sweeping this country,” said Coleman. After Partovi introduced a program titled “One Hour of Code,” in which any school in America can receive a free, 60-minute video tutorial on how to code, students have clocked more than 100 million hours of code in the past two years. “Every single child should learn about algorithmic thinking or how the Internet works — it’s just a basic thing that every child in the 21st century should have as part of their well-rounded education,” said Partovi. More than 5 million students took the tutorial, 2 million of whom were girls. Since launching our partnership with Code.org, over 90 school districts nationwide have added computer science courses, and the enrollment in AP Computer Science A has almost doubled, making it the fastest-growing course for the College Board.
For Coleman, partnerships are about not only enhancing the College Board’s services to students and families but also offering support to institutions that can benefit from the collaboration. “Assessment without opportunity is dead,” said Coleman in his closing remarks, “but with these kinds of partners, the College Board can share very powerful things.”