The Kentucky Department of Education recently released statistics showing that the number of the state's public high schoolers taking AP entrance exams - and scoring high on them - continues to rise...
...the National Governors Association awarded grants of $500,000 each to Kentucky and five other states to increase their success rates in AP courses.
Kentucky focused on increasing student and teacher preparation for AP and expanding AP offerings. Educators' thinking was that many students who wouldn't ordinarily take AP entrance exams would do well on them.
Statewide, the number of AP test-takers has risen from 9,688 in 2004 to 13,246 this year. The number of those scoring a 3, 4 or 5 - making them eligible for college credit - rose from 6,951 in 2004 to 9,913 this year.
"The data primarily tell us that more students have access to AP courses, which means that schools are doing a good job of making sure that all students are aware of them and encouraged to participate," Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Lisa Gross explained. "That's been a statewide goal for a number of years, and the trend data shows that we're making progress."
The gains on AP class participation should help in the state's goal of getting the rate of Kentuckians in college to the national average by 2020.
The drive to get more kids into AP classes actually is two decades old in the commonwealth. In 1987, the Kentucky Board of Education established the Commonwealth Diploma Program to encourage Kentucky's high school students to take rigorous courses that would improve their chances of succeeding in college. Criteria for the diploma include successful completion of at least four AP courses - English, science or mathematics, foreign language and one additional AP course - and completion of at least three AP exams.
Senate Bill 74, passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2002, required the development of a core AP curriculum and the expansion of access to AP courses through the Kentucky Virtual High School.
Currently, 34 AP courses are offered in Kentucky, including art history, biology, chemistry, English literature, United States history, physics and statistics...
This from the Cincinnati Post.