More Ohio Students Take, Pass AP Exams

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UPDATED: Thursday September 26, 2013 6:47 PM

The Ohio Board of Education says more students in the Buckeye State are taking, and passing, Advanced Placement Exams than in previous years.  

What's more, the state says it's made double-digit growth in closing a gap with one particular student group.

Just a month after revamped state report cards showed several central Ohio school districts struggle with how well they close the achievement gap among groups of children - today the state says when it comes to Advanced Placement, or AP tests, Ohio has done an about face in that area.

It’s that growth, state officials say, that outshines the rest of the nation.

“You look at that report card, and some of the data that has come out and some of the data we've had in past years, there's been a huge achievement gap in particular with our students in poverty, our African-American students our Hispanic students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Richard A. Ross.

Ross says The College Board’s report, released Thursday, showed the following for 2012-2013 academic school year:

The number of Ohio students earning a “3” or higher on an AP exam grew by 9.2 percent compared with 6.1 percent nationally.

The number of African-American students in Ohio earning a “3” or higher grew by 17.2 percent compared with 11.1 percent nationally.

The number of Hispanic Ohio students earning a “3” or higher grew by 19.9 percent compared with 13.3 percent nationally.     

The information was shared Thursday morning at Pickerington High School North, where Ross says the Advanced Placement growth in that district is a tribute to educators and students.

“This is an indicator, a really positive indicator, that some of that is changing,” said Ross “There has been some action taken by the department of education to encourage that and the real story, the real plus is that, teachers and leadership in school buildings like this across the state are making it happen.”

Pickerington High School North Senior Mica Caine will have taken eight AP courses by the time she graduates in May, and she credits her teachers.

"They have great influence on me, always available after school,” said Caine “Even people who have graduated from school told me you have to take these classes; these teachers are amazing."

The Ohio Department of Education says Pickerington’s success is part of why the state is making gains in AP courses.

"(They are) trying to break down barriers that were there before, both in making the classes available and also getting the students into the classes,” said Ross.

The Advanced Placement Exams are administered each year in May and represent the culmination of college-level study in a given discipline in a secondary school setting. Last year, more than 3,000 U.S. colleges and universities received AP scores for credit, placement and/or consideration in the admission process, with the vast majority of those colleges and universities offering credit in one or more subjects based on successful Advanced Placement Exam scores.

Today, most colleges and universities grant credit, advanced placement or both for an Advanced Placement Exam score of “3” or higher on the five-point scale.

Beginning in 2009, students in Ohio who take an Advanced Placement examination and score at least a “3” are guaranteed college credit, usually toward their general education curriculum, upon entering an Ohio public institution of higher education.

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