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KGHS makes AP honor roll list

King George High School received recognition last week from the Virginia Department of Education for increasing student participation and achievement for Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

The announcement on Feb. 8 cited King George as one of eight Virginia school divisions, among the 367 districts recognized nationwide, by the College Board for simultaneously increasing

access to AP courses and raising achievement on the examinations.

In addition to King George, the other Virginia divisions making the College Board’s AP honor roll are in Albemarle County, Goochland County, Manassas Park, New Kent, Roanoke County,
Rockbridge County, and Rockingham County.

According to the College Board’s 2012 AP Report to the Nation, one in four of Virginia’s 2011 public high school graduates earned a grade of three or better on at least one AP examination.
For the fifth year in a row, students in Virginia ranked third in the nation in achievement on AP tests. Maryland and New York are the two states that had higher percentages of high school seniors qualifying for college credit on AP tests.

ONE-YEAR COMPARISON TO 2010
While Virginia’s ranking among other states did not change, the number of seniors taking AP tests increased, as did the percentage of students earning a grade of three or higher.

32,212 of Virginia’s 2011 seniors took at least one AP exam, compared with 30,780 of 2010 graduates. 25.6 percent of Virginia’s 2011 seniors earned a qualifying score on at least one AP test, compared with 23.7 percent of 2010 graduates.

TEN-YEAR COMPARISON TO 2001
The College Board reported that 40.1 percent of Virginia’s 2011 graduating seniors actually took one or more AP tests last year, with 25.6 percent of them earning a qualifying score on at least one AP exam, comparing favorably with only 18.1 percent for public school students nationwide.
Last year, 20,542 graduating seniors in Virginia scored a three or higher on an AP exam at some point during their high school careers. This indicates improvement over the last decade, when in 2001 only 17,150 seniors took an AP exam and only 10,900 earned a score of three or higher.

HIGHLIGHTS OF COLLEGE BOARD REPORT
According to the College Board, much of Virginia’s continued success is due to increased participation and achievement by the state’s traditionally-underserved graduates including African American, American Indian, Hispanic/Latino and low-income students.

The number of Hispanic graduates who took at least one AP exam has nearly tripled across the nation in ten years. In 2011, the number of Hispanic students who participated in AP exams was 2,220, compared with 759 in 2001. The percentage of participating Hispanic students rose slightly to 6.9 percent in 2011, compared with 6.8 percent in 2010.

Likewise, the number of African-American seniors graduating from high school having taken an AP exam continues to rise. In 2011, a total of 4,083 black students participated, compared with 1,433 in 2001. This is a percentage increase of more than four points over 10 years — with 12.7 percent participating in 2011, compared with 8.4 percent in 2001. During that same period, the percentage of African-American seniors scoring a three or higher rose 1.6 points to 6.6 percent in 2011 up from 5 percent in 2001.

In addition, the number of low-income seniors in Virginia enrolled in AP courses has more than doubled since 2006 (the first year that information was available), when 1,199 took one or more AP exams in high school compared with 3,117 in 2011. Additionally, the number of low-income students earning a qualifying score in 2011 rose to 6.4 percent, up from 3.7 percent in 2006.

ABOUT AP TESTING
According to the College Board, students who score a three or higher on AP exams typically have greater academic success in college and are more likely to graduate on time with a degree than comparable non-AP peers.

Virginia students may substitute AP examinations for end-of-course SOL tests in the same subject areas. Enrollment in AP courses is among the criteria for recognition under the Virginia Index of Performance awards program created by the Board of Education to encourage advanced learning and achievement.

Virginia also promotes AP participation through the Early College Scholars initiative and the Virtual Virginia online-learning program, and uses federal grant money to subsidize test fees for low-income students.

Phyllis Cook
 

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