Ala. gaining ground in Advance Placement - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Ala. gaining ground in Advance Placement

Montgomery, AL – Alabama public schools are still showing gains in Advanced Placement® (AP), according to the 6th Annual AP Report to the Nation, released Wednesday by the College Board.

AP is a rigorous academic program that offers high school students the chance for college-level study in more than 30 courses in a wide variety of subject areas.

"Expanding Advanced Placement programs is critical to providing a world-class education for our children and making sure they are prepared to succeed in today's global economy," said Governor Bob Riley.

Student participation in AP courses and exams and AP exam scores continue to rise in Alabama. Success on an AP exam is defined as a grade of 3 or higher – a score research shows is indicative of college success and graduation. More Alabama students earned qualifying scores (3 or higher) than ever before, and more students are prepared to succeed in – not just attend college.

"Through the National Governors Association, Alabama was one of six states to receive funding to expand AP courses to more minority and low-income students. Alabama was one of seven states to be awarded a National Math and Science Initiative grant to strengthen AP programs," said Dr. Joe Morton, State Superintendent of Education. "A+ College Ready, the Alabama AP Initiative, ACCESS [Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators & Students Statewide] and our state funding enable us to offer more AP classes to more students, including rural areas of the state, but this is just the beginning. We must continue to expand AP access for all students, including traditionally underserved students."

According to the report, since 2004 in Alabama public schools:

  • The number of test takers has almost doubled.
  • The number of African American test takers has more than quadrupled.
  • Qualifying exam scores (3 or higher) of African American students have more than doubled (Over 90 percent of colleges and universities give credit for qualifying scores).
  • Five times more low-income students are taking AP exams and three times more are scoring 3 or higher on an AP exam.

AP PARTICIPATION & SCORES

 

2009

2008

2004

Test-Takers

16.3%

13.5%

8.8%

3-5 Exam Scores

7.5%

6.8%

5%

 

ALABAMA'S AP GAINS

 

2009

2008

2004

Test-Takers

6,466

5,327

3,217

3-5 Exam Scores

2,972

2,691

1,833

 

AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS' PROGRESS

 

2009

2008

2004

Test-Takers

1278

852

313

3-5 Exam Scores

227

191

99

 

LOW-INCOME* STUDENTS' PROGRESS

(* based on free and reduced lunch)

 

2009

2008

2004

Test-Takers

758

482

153

3-5 Exam Scores

160

107

54

"AP can prepare the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers," said Bill Heron, Senior Educational Manager, College Board. "In Alabama and across the nation, a wider and more ethnically diverse proportion of students continue to achieve success in AP."

Alabama will present at the College Board Regional Forum 2010 Atlanta, Feb. 18-19. In summer 2010, AP Summer Institutes at The University of Alabama and Auburn University will offer professional development opportunities for teachers, counselors and administrators:

Information Courtesy: Alabama Department of Education

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