Reflecting on the Third Annual New York AP Day at the Capitol
Reflecting on the Third Annual New York AP Day at the CapitolJaslee Carayol, Associate Director of Communications at the College Board
On March 19, more than 200 students and teachers from across New York State visited the Capitol building to meet with nearly 60 legislators and advocate for funding to expand students’ access to Advanced Placement by adding courses – including at rural high schools – and covering exam fees for low-income students.
The day began with a discussion among the students and State Assembly and Senate members about why advanced coursework matters. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan addressed the students, discussing access in the context of education, opportunity, and testing.
Hoosick Falls High School AP students after meeting with Sen. Marcellino
“Our fundamental obligation is to make sure your schools have opportunity, access, and proper funding. And that includes AP,” Senator Flanagan told the students.
John D’Agati, the Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Higher Education joined the students to talk about college credits for students’ success on AP Exams. Assemblyman Victor Pichardo discussed his personal experience with AP and how it helped on his path to the State Assembly. Then the students were off to smaller group meetings with legislators and legislative staffers.
A group of five students from Hoosick Falls High School in Rensselaer County met with Senator Carl Marcellino, chair of the Senate Education Committee. These students come from a rural community with only 1,000 students and eight AP classes available. The students told the senator what AP means to them and how it’s changed their lives. One student recounted how her AP Studio Art course enabled her artwork to be hung and sold at a gallery in Vermont.
AP students from Marble Hill High School for International Studies and AP Advocates meet with a representative from Assembly Speaker Heastie’s office.
In Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s office, five students from Marble Hill High School for International Studies in the Bronx met with Paul Upton, a representative from the Speaker’s office. In discussing the importance of AP access, the students talked about the achievement gap, including that low-income schools don’t have as many clubs, activities, and programs available to students. The students also discussed their specific interests and career goals – one young man is interested in pursuing a major in robotics and engineering, while one young woman talked about her interest in STEM courses and careers.
Another group of 11 students from Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy met with Assemblyman Nick Perry’s chief of staff, Joyce Elie, to discuss their personal experiences with AP at their school and what it meant to them.
Students from Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy discuss AP funding with Assemblyman Perry’s chief of staff.