Much of increase comes from AdvanceKentucky schools
The Kentucky Department of Education just issued a news release about our high school students’ performance on the Advanced Placement tests.
This table, taken from the release, tells some of the important story.
Between 2008 and 2012 the number of individual students taking at least one AP exam each year has nearly doubled, soaring from 14,664 students in 2008 to 26,523 in this past school year.
The number of actual tests taken (some students take more than one AP course each year) also exploded from 23,280 to 43,185.
Finally, the number of tests scored with at least a 3 (usually the minimum required for a college to accept the AP course for college credit), nearly doubled, as well.
Kentucky’s Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says that the state’s growing emphasis on college and careers is part of the reason these numbers are increasing, but he also said that the AdvanceKentucky program, which we have written about many times before, such as here, actually contributed a large proportion of this increase. That is really remarkable because AdvanceKentucky was only in 64 Kentucky high schools in 2011-12. There are around 230 high schools in Kentucky.
The only cautionary note in the good news is that the success rate for several minority groups declined a bit.
In this next table, note in the bottom section that the percentage of blacks and Hispanics scoring a 3 or higher on the AP dropped between 2008 and 2012.
For example, as the next set of tables show, in 2008 there were 686 blacks who took an AP exam and 204 of them – that is 29.7 percent – scored a 3 or more. In the 2012 testing, only 26.8 percent of the blacks scored a 3 or more. More blacks successfully took the AP tests, but their success rate fell a bit. Black success rates also continue to be notably lower than rates for other racial groups, an unbroken trend since 2008.
Still, the number of 3 or higher scored tests has increased for all minority groups, which is also very good news.