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JEFFERSONVILLE, IND. (WDRB) -- Jeffersonville High School is paying students $100 for every Advanced Placement science, math, and English test they pass. "It's that extra motivation to do well," says freshman Kegan Cane.
Jeffersonville is one of nine high schools selected to split a $7 million grant from the Indiana Department of Education. "We're extremely excited about it," says Assistant Principal Ginger Whitis. "This means we can now break down barriers for students who may not have looked at AP courses."
Senior Zach Blankenbaker says, "With that incentive, you're looking at, well, if I pass this class, this class, and this class, I could be looking at two or three hundred dollars. That's a great way to help with the study habits of a high school student."
Blankenbaker's two weeks away from taking six AP exams. Unfortunately, he won't be paid because the program starts next year. "I'm thinking I'm going to be studying like no other," he says. But he also says the real incentive lies in the fact that for every AP test a students passes, they earn college credit.
AP Biology Teacher Melissa Brewer says, "I'm just excited to have extra training and the potential for extra equipment." That's also part of the grant money coming to Jeffersonville High. Brewer will be paid as well, $100 for every one of her students who passes the AP test. "They're difficult," she explains. "The pass rate is among 50 percent."
Last year of 356 AP exams given, only 117 students earned the 3, 4, or 5, score necessary to pass. The school must more than double those results by 2015 under the terms of the grant. So while the incentive is great, it's now up to the students and teachers to make the dollars make sense.
The Department of Education says the $7 million for this program comes from private donations. Jeffersonville is the only school in southern Indiana taking part in the program.