Independent assessment shows progress for low-income students and students of color
MADISON — Students in the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and the Boys & Girls Club’s Teens of Promise (TOPS) programs (www.avidtops.org) are achieving higher GPAs, enrolling in more advanced placement courses, and scoring higher on tests, according to a new analysis of the programs provided by the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE).
“We are so pleased that our ongoing partnership with the Boys & Girls Club is having a consistently positive impact on our students,” Superintendent Jane Belmore said. “It is because of this success that we have expanded AVID to middle schools this year. I want to thank the Boys & Girls Club for their work to make this partnership so effective.”
The partnership between the Boys & Girls Club and MMSD is not only unique among the 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide, but it is also the only such partnership for AVID implementation in districts across the country. The collaboration between the Boys & Girls Club and the District helps students who have average grades, but above average motivation, to further their education beyond high school.
“We are happy to partner with MMSD and to work side by side with teachers in the classroom to support the academic needs of our young people,” said Michael Johnson, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. “We are excited to see another year of positive gains for our students and we will continue to work with teachers, businesses and other community partners in a collaborative spirit to help young people achieve at their highest level.”
AVID is a college readiness system that includes an elective course focused on organizational strategies, study skills, critical thinking, tutorial support, and career and college awareness. In addition, the Boys & Girls Club through TOPS provides full-time student coordinators in each of the four high schools, summer internships, after-school mentors, funding for more than 40 tutors during the elective course, and a variety of college and career field trips.
According to this year’s report:
• AVID/TOPS students have higher cumulative and core GPAs than their non-AVID/TOPS peers.
• AVID/TOPS students enroll in AP and Honors courses at higher rates than their non-AVID/TOPS peers.
• In particular, African American AVID/TOPS students earn higher grades in AP/Honors courses than comparison group students.
• AVID/TOPS students attend school more regularly than their non-AVID/TOPS peers.
• AVID/TOPS students have fewer behavioral referrals than comparison group students. This is especially true for low-income and African American students.
WISCAPE has evaluated AVID/TOPS for the past three years. Previous reports have found similar findings, showing the consistently positive impact of the program.
About the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County is a local not-for-profit youth development organization that serves nearly 3,000 young people every year at two clubs and nine school-based locations throughout Dane County. Boys & Girls Clubs fuel kids with the inspiration to dream and teach them the skills to achieve when they’re most impressionable through quality programs in five core areas: Character and Leadership Development; Education and Career Development; Health and Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness and Recreation. For additional information about our clubs and programs please visit: www.bgcdc.org.