TEA News Releases Online
Feb. 9, 2011
Texas AP program growing rapidly
AUSTIN – More Texans earned high scores ranging from 3 to 5 on Advanced Placement (AP) exams in 2010 than participated in the entire program in 2001.
Many colleges and universities will award students college course credit if they receive a score of 3, 4 or 5 on an AP test.
In 2010, 82,249 or 30.2 percent of Texas seniors took at least one AP exam during their high school years and 42,254 of those students earned a score of 3-5. In contrast, in 2001, a total of 39,456 or 18.3 percent of Texas seniors took an AP exam while in high school and 22,576 earned a score of 3 or higher.
“During this time, Texas has expanded the number of schools that offer AP courses. We have provided fee subsidies and extensive training for teachers. This program is part of our effort to make sure our high school graduates are prepared for success in college,” said Commissioner of Education Robert Scott.
Last week, Achieve, a nonpartisan education reform group, noted that Texas is the only state in the country to implement all key college and career readiness policies identified by the organization.
Research has found that students who perform well on AP exams are more likely to be successful in college and are more likely to graduate on time, which can save families thousands of dollars.
In Texas, 15.5 percent of the Texas seniors tested earned a score of 3 or higher, which was slightly behind the national average of 16.9 percent.
Results released from the College Board today in its AP Report to the Nation found that more of Texas’ traditionally underserved public school students are taking AP classes and succeeding in the program.
AP participation among low-income students rose from 19,143 to 27,810 between 2006 and 2010. Those earning a high score increased from 9,654 to 11,541.
The number of Hispanic seniors in Texas who took at least one AP exam during high school increased from 20,750 for the Class of 2006 to 30,924 for the Class of 2010. The number of students earning a score of 3 or higher rose from 11,165 to 13,812 during that period.
About 23 percent of all the Hispanic seniors in the United States who took an AP exam reside in Texas.
The number of African-American seniors in Texas who took at least one AP exam rose from 4,230 for the Class of 2006 to 6,821 for the Class of 2010. Those who scored a 3 or higher rose from 1,132 to 1,683.
The College Board recognized four schools in Texas with significant numbers of minority students taking AP exams and achieving high scores.
Recognized for their success with Hispanic students are the Science Academy of South Texas in Mercedes’ South Texas Independent School District; United High School in Laredo’s United ISD; and Valley View High School in Pharr’s Valley View ISD.
Recognized for the success of their African-American students was the Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston ISD.
“We are proud of the success of these four schools and their students. They are models for schools across the country,” Scott said.
The 10 most popular exams taken by Texas students were English Language and Composition; United States History; English Literature and Composition; World History; U.S. Government and Politics; Calculus AB; Macro economics; Spanish Language; Biology; and Psychology.
More information about the AP program is available at www.collegeboard.org.
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