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2013 H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award (Non-Black)


In too many high schools, there are too few students from minority or poor families in college prep courses. Teacher Susan Anglada Bartley decided to do something about that in her school, Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon.

Susan Bartley, who is an AP English teacher, created the Advanced Placement Scholar Program that has dramatically increased the number of students of color, socio-economically disadvantaged students, and students who will be the first in their families to go to college. Minority students now represent 40 percent of the students in this AP program.

The Advanced Placement Scholar Program requires students going into the program to take at least four AP classes before they graduate. Teachers throughout the school encourage students who show promise, especially minority and low-income students, English as a second language students, and special education students, to join. Thanks to Susan Bartley's efforts, eight Reed College students are available to tutor Franklin High School students who need help. The tutoring occurs after school, four days a week, and math teachers tutor students in the morning and at lunch. In addition, freshman English teachers have been trained in pre-AP strategies to prepare students.

Susan Bartley has collaborated with Writers in the Schools to create the College Essay Mentoring Project, which pairs students with professionals to support students who need help with their college admission essays. What’s more, Bartley has created targeted academic intervention luncheons for Black and Latino students to review their transcripts and hear from college counselors and college admissions specialists while eating pizza. All of the students who completed the Advanced Placement Scholar Program have gone on to college in recent years, and the number of minority and low-income students who now go from Franklin High School to college has risen significantly.

Say the professionals (from Educational Support Services) who have evaluated Susan Bartley's work: "Susan has done an amazing job of first launching and then expanding the program while designing and coordinating support systems for students to ensure they stay on track as Advance Scholars Program participants…She has proven to the Oregon Department of Education and to the U.S. Department of Education that, from an equity perspective, students from disadvantaged circumstances can perform at the same high level as the more advantaged students."

Bartley's fellow educators at Franklin see her as a culturally competent master teacher who is able to connect with and inspire students from very different ethnic and cultural backgrounds than hers. Her principal, Shay James, concurs: "I have had a front row seat as a parent of an African-American child in Susan Bartley's AP English class. I am grateful to her for the critical thinking skills she has helped develop with my child, the confidence she has fostered, and the expectation to push a little more that she instilled."

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