NEWPORT -- North Country Union High School is one of 539 school districts across 44 of the 50 states in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the third annual APÂ® District Honor Roll for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced PlacementÂ® course work while increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district's AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work.
From 2010-2012, North Country has increased the number of students participating in AP from 50 to 72 while improving the percentage of students earning at least one score of 3 or higher. More than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the U.S. offer college credit, advanced placement or both for a score of 3 or above on an AP Exam -- which can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition.
Data 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, often because their school does not yet offer the AP course. The College Board calls for continued commitment to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.
"We applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in this district, who are fostering rigorous work worth doing. These educators have not only expanded student access to AP course work, but they have enabled more of their students to achieve on a college level--which is helping to create a strong college-going culture," said College Board president, David Coleman.
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. Many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to expand access and improve student performance simultaneously.
"There has been a great victory among educators who have believed that a more diverse population could indeed succeed in AP courses. In 2012, AP scores were higher than they'd been since 2004, when one million fewer students were being given access. These outcomes are a powerful testament to educators' belief that many more students were indeed ready and waiting for the sort of rigor that would prepare them for what they would encounter in college," said Trevor Packer, the College Board's senior vice president of the Advanced Placement Program. "While we recognize that there is still much work to be done to prepare students for college, I find myself inspired daily by what they are achieving."
Inclusion on the AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012, for the following criteria:
Districts must: Increase 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; ensure that the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking AP Exams did not decrease by more than 5 percent for large and medium districts or by more than 10 percent for small districts; improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2012 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2010, unless the district has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.
When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population made up of 30 percent or more underrepresented minority students (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work.