Expanding the Global Teaching Project with UVA Students
In May, Jimenez’s class – about 100 students – graduated from North Pontotoc High School, which sits just north of the Little Tallahatchie River and an auction house called Deals Gone Wild. It is surrounded by miles of open farmland. The average household income in Ecru is $60,760. The poverty rate is 16.13%.
It was in Ecru that the gifted student successfully completed five AP classes as he prepared to apply to college. His feat can be better appreciated when the state of public education in Mississippi is considered. According to recently released College Board data, Jimenez’s home state has the lowest level of AP course participation and performance in the country.
The situation becomes bleaker when you consider the national teacher shortage has hit the Southern state particularly hard. In 2013, the Mississippi Department of Education licensed 3,447 teachers. The number dropped to 1,624 in 2018. That year, Mississippi public schools had more than 2,100 teaching vacancies and 2,256 uncertified teachers.
Luckily for Jimenez and hundreds of students like him, the Global Teaching Project exists. Founded six years ago by Dolan, the project serves 38 schools in Mississippi, has supported more than 1,000 students, and expanded from offering support in AP Physics I to include support in AP Computer Science Principles, AP Biology and AP Statistics.
Connecting the Dots in Rural, Underserved Areas
Because there are so many uncertified teachers in Mississippi, the Global Teaching Project has recruited AP-certified supervisory instructors to provide those teachers with lesson plans and technological support.