Advanced Placement Classes, Scores on Rise

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), February 5, 2009 | Go to article overview

Advanced Placement Classes, Scores on Rise


Byline: Anne Williams The Register-Guard

More Oregon high school students are taking Advanced Placement exams, and they're earning better scores, says a report released Wednesday by the College Board.

Though AP participation rates among Oregon public high school students still lag behind the national average, the report came as welcome news to Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo, who has spent much of the past two years championing new, tougher graduation requirements.

"This is great news for our state and proves our hard work to expand student participation in higher-level learning is starting to pay off," Castillo said in a statement. "When we ask more of our students, we get more and so do they. Increased student participation in AP and other accelerated coursework is a vital component to ensuring all our students graduate ready for life after high school."

Run by the nonprofit College Board, the AP program offers college-level courses in high schools in the United States and Canada. Though once largely the domain of traditional college-bound high achievers, there's momentum - reflected nationally and locally - to expand its reach.

Among public high schoolstudents in Oregon's 2008 graduating class, 6,919 took at least one AP exam during high school, compared with 6,122 in the class of 2007 and 4,046 in the class of 2003.

Of those, 4,263 students earned a 3 or higher of a possible 5 on at least one exam, compared with 3,815 in the class of 2007 and 2,638 in the class of 2003. The report cites studies finding a score of 3 or higher to be indicative of future college success; it's also the score most colleges and universities require to grant college credit. …

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