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ISD honored for more students taking and succeeding in advanced courses

Thursday, November 15, 2012

For the second consecutive year, the Issaquah School District is one of 539 school districts in the nation being honored by the College Board with a place on the Annual AP Honor Roll—a recognition program now in its third year. The distinction comes for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement (AP) coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. “AP classes are part of our overall goal of challenging all students with rigorous coursework that prepares them for college and other post-secondary opportunities,” said Issaquah Superintendent Dr. Steve Rasmussen. “To be included on the AP Honor Roll, therefore, is great news: More students are participating AND succeeding.”

Since 2010, the district has increased the number of AP tests taken from 881 to 1,214, while improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher from 79.9 percent to 83.8 percent. Almost all U.S. colleges and universities grant college credit or advanced placement for a score of 3 or above on AP exams, which can potentially save students thousands of dollars in tuition. Inclusion on the AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012. 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.

About the AP Program

The College Board’s AP Program enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies—with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both—while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue—skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them, and research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores — more than 3,600 institutions worldwide annually receive AP scores. In the last decade, participation in the AP Program has more than doubled and graduates succeeding on AP Exams have nearly doubled. In May 2012, 2.1 million students representing more than 18,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.7 million AP Exams.

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