Texas Middle School Program for AP Spanish
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History

In 2003, 95% of participating students received scores of three or above on the AP Spanish Language exam, with almost 300 students receiving the highest exam score possible.

In 2000, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to implement the Texas Middle School Program for AP* Spanish. The project was designed to encourage the teaching of the AP Spanish Language course at the middle school level for native Spanish speakers who were also identified as economically disadvantaged. The goal was to promote student success and self confidence and support student aspirations and preparation for college.

The original seven pilot school districts established programs in seventeen middle schools across the state. These pilot districts varied greatly in resources, student population, size, and location.

In May of 2001, 356 students in the pilot schools took the AP Spanish Language examination and did extremely well. On the AP exam scale of one to five, one being the lowest, 89% of students received a score of three or above on the exam, making them eligible to receive college credit for the course at most colleges and universities. In May of 2002, a second cohort of 400 middle school students took the AP Spanish Language examination and more than 92% received scores of three or above. In 2003, 95% of participating students received scores of three or above on the AP Spanish Language exam, with almost 300 students receiving the highest exam score possible.

Building on the success of the pilot program, in 2002 TEA applied for additional funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Advanced Placement Incentive Program to expand the project to 13 additional scale-up sites.

The new scale-up districts did not have to start from scratch. The original seven pilot sites, many of which had expanded their programs to include most of the middle schools in their districts, agreed to act as mentors to the new scale-up sites. Additionally, as part of the scale-up effort, TEA developed an implementation guide, drawing heavily on the wisdom and sample resources of the districts that piloted the program. By the 2003-04 school year, fifteen additional middle school programs were up and running with more than 1,000 students participating in the program statewide.

In May of 2001, 356 students in the pilot schools took the AP Spanish Language examination and did extremely well. On the AP exam scale of one to five, one being the lowest, 89% of students received a score of three or above on the exam, making them eligible to receive college credit for the course at most colleges and universities. In May of 2002, a second cohort of 400 middle school students took the AP Spanish Language examination and more than 92% received scores of three or above. In 2003, 95% of participating students received scores of three or above on the AP Spanish Language exam, with almost 300 students receiving the highest exam score possible.

In 2005, TEA awarded planning grants to an additional 59 campuses to implement programs. These 59 Phase II scale-up sites began offering the program in Fall 2006.

Surveys about the program conducted with participating students, teachers, and parents have been overwhelmingly positive. All of the teachers reported increased parental participation and noted that their students demonstrated increased self confidence. Ninety-six percent of the students said they would recommend the class to a friend. Most felt their grades had improved, and 95% felt they could be successful in college. Ninety-five percent of the parents surveyed felt that their child was doing better in school, and most reported that they played more active roles at their child’s school as a result of their child’s participation in the project.

Thanks to the commitment and contributions of these early implementers of the Texas Middle School Program for AP Spanish, a wealth of program implementation models, strategies, and resources is available for other schools interested in the program. Please visit the Implementation section of this website.