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AP Results!

Earlier today, our friends at The College Board released their much-awaited annual Advanced Placement Report to the Nation, an overview of our country’s progress toward expanded access to rigorous AP classes.  Here’s the good news: this year’s report highlights the progress being made toward ensuring that all students with “AP Potential” are able to enroll in courses, regardless of their race, socioeconomic status or where they live. NMSI is very proud to be featured for our hard work to help level the playing field in AP classrooms across the country. 

From the report:

For many of the poverty-strained students and their families in Texas’s Pasadena IndependentSchool District, college seemed out of the question. Pasadena ISD had a different vision. In 2005,the district’s superintendent created a plan to turn things around for the struggling community,and he enlisted the National Math and Science Initiative’s teacher training program to help lead the transformation. What happened over the next six years was unprecedented. By opening the door for every student to take AP courses and by ensuring that all teachers received training to match the rigor of those courses, the number of qualifying scores earned on AP math, science, and English exams increased from 172 in 2006 to 586 in 2012. Where poverty once defined Pasadena ISD, a college-ready culture does today.

Now, for the bad news: far too few of the students primed for success in AP courses took these classes in the 2011-12 school year. For example, in math – a focus area for our AP program – only 40% of AP-ready students took an AP math class. This discrepancy is especially acute among Latino, black and American Indian students. When you consider that minority students who succeed in AP are four times more likely to graduate from college, it’s clear that continued progress toward closing the gap between AP-ready and AP-graduates is essential to ensuring student success in high school and beyond.

This year’s report underscores that there is much work to be done to expand access to the AP curriculum, and we are grateful to the College Board for helping to draw attention to this crucial issue. I encourage you to read the report for yourself, and leave your thoughts in the comments section. Which of the strategies for success do you think are most relevant to you and your schools? How can we make sure everyone with AP potential is enrolled in AP courses?

As the report emphasizes, collaboration is central to the AP program and student success -- so we want to hear from you!