I teach in a high-poverty high school that is striving to step up its academic offerings so that students can more successfully transition to college and university. Part of this effort is to offer a chemistry course that provides Advanced Placement instruction and college transfer credit in the University of Oregon system. (i.e. Students can take college-level work while still in high school.) This provides students with academic confidence and saves students and their families considerable $$ by earning credits that can be applied when they enter the system of higher education.
Like most school districts in the Pacific Northwest, ours has been hit hard by declining state support due to the struggling economy. To try to maintain academic offerings, severe budget cuts have been enacted. Among these budget cuts are a freeze on text book purchases. Though there is increased interest in taking advanced chemistry courses by the student body, no funds exist to purchase text books for additional sections of this course. If we are not able to find funds to purchase ~ 30 text books, the additional section will not be offered and approximately 30 students will not have the opportunity to earn college-level credits while still in high school.
Money is needed to purchase the basic materials (i.e. text books) for an additional section of College Now Chemistry at our school. This will directly benefit poor, academically high achieving students. By successfully completing this course students can earn up to 15 hours of college chemistry credits (CH 221,222,and 223) in the University of Oregon system of higher education and score successfully on the Advanced Placement chemistry exam.
Our high school serves a high poverty, ethnically diverse group of students. Many of these students are striving to reach their fullest potential and choosing to challenge themselves academically so that they can be successful in college. Expanding our offerings in advanced chemistry so that students can earn college credit while still in high school, brings the dream of a college degree that much closer to reality for our students. Having an adequate number of text books for these students is the first step in making this dream a reality.
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