Eighteen Connecticut school districts have been named to The College Board’s 4th Annual AP District Honor Roll — a list of 477 districts across the U.S. and Canada being honored for increasing access to AP (Advanced Placement) course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.
Reaching these goals indicates that these districts are successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit from rigorous AP course work, according to The College Board.
The Connecticut school districts include public schools in Berlin, Brookfield, Cheshire, Clinton, East Hampton, Ellington, Enfield, Fairfield, Greenwich, Killingly, Monroe, Newtown, Southington and Wallingford, as well as Regional School Districts 8 (Hebron, Andover, Marlborough), 14 and 18 and the Diocese of Bridgeport.
Most of the districts had received similar recognition in previous years; new to the list are Wallingford, Regional Districts 14 (Woodbury and Bethlehem) and 18 (Lyme and East Lyme), Killingly, Greenwich, Clinton, Fairfield and Enfield and the Diocese of Bridgeport. A year ago, there were 26 Connecticut school districts recognized on the AP District Honor Roll.
AP is a rigorous academic program that offers more than 30 courses in a wide range of subjects and college-level assessments developed and scored by college and university faculty members and experienced AP teachers. According to the College Board, a score of 3 or higher on an AP exam represents the score point that is predictive of college success and college graduation. The AP courses offered various by school district, but often include biology, chemistry, physics, Spanish, U.S. history, English literature, and calculus.
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors, officials at The College Board point out. They noted that many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to simultaneously expand access and improve student performance.
Inclusion on the 4th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2011 to 2013, for the following criteria.
- Increased participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
- Increased or maintained the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students, and;
- Improved performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2013 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2011, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.
In 2013, more than 3,300 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement and/or consideration in the admission process, with many colleges and universities in the United States offering credit in one or more subjects for qualifying AP scores.
Regional School District 14’s Superintendent, Jody Ian Goeler said, “It is wonderful to see so many of our High School students challenging themselves to take and succeed in our most rigorous courses. It is a strong indication our Board of Education’s advocacy for these programs is well placed and providing excellent opportunities and results for our students.”
Greenwich High School Principal Chris Winters recently commented that “Our participation in AP classes is at a 10-year high, and the average score has remained unchanged and at very high levels. For the first time, over 50 percent of Greenwich High School have passed at least one AP exam during their four years.”
Nationwide data from 2013 show that among African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half of students are participating. These 477 districts, The College Board indicated, are committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.