Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Which AP tests do Kentucky students take and pass?

On Advanced Placement tests, scores of 3, 4, or 5 can qualify a student for college credit, placement in advanced courses, or both.  Monday, while posting on the Leaders and Laggards report,  I realized that the subjects where students earn those credits deserve closer attention.

So, below, two additional thoughts on AP test success in Kentucky.

First, a look at the major areas where 2013 public school students received successful scores, combining multiple tests in disciplinary clusters. The green shades identify science, math, and world languages, the subjects that Leaders and Laggards included in their economic competitiveness ratings.  The very small slice for world languages stands out as a weak result in the overall picture.

Second, a look at the top 12 tests where Kentucky students succeed, showing the number of students passing each test.  It isn't really a surprise to see the English tests at the top of this list, but it would definitely be good to see the science, math, and language numbers move up.

Source note: These numbers come from the page for "AP Program Participation and Performance Data 2013" at the College Board website.

--Posted by Susan Perkins Weston

1 comment:

  1. This is interesting data on AP Exam scores in Kentucky. I agree that it would be nice to see Science, Math and Language Arts scores moved up. I think that we must investigate how we further use our investments in using these tests. The answers to the following questions must help to guide us further. 1. Is Dual Credit courses as good as if not better offerings than AP classes? There might not be sufficient data to show that High School AP science classes contains enough rigor to serve as a college courses. 2. Is it reasonable to hinge college credit on one AP Exam? Some exams do not cover sufficient subject content. Some changes had been made to some classes such as AP Biology in 2012 to reflect more standards. "The changes, which are to take effect in the 2012-13 school year, are part of a sweeping redesign of the entire A.P. program. Instead of just providing teachers with a list of points that need to be covered for the exams, the College Board will create these detailed standards for each subject and create new exams to match". http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/education/edlife/09ap-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& 3. Can there be other incentives to drive higher performance? Some states have offered financial benefits to teachers and students who pass the exams. Even though, some students weren't impacted, some low-income students did do better. Also, a study show that even with students who earned a 4 on the AP Exam, the college the selected required a 5 for college credit. So the college credit incentive isn't always satisfied. 4. Do these tests serve as reliable indicators of how students will perform in college? Some of the factors that help these students to do well are factors that will be there even if these particular classes weren't taken. Also, a study showed that of the nearly 30,000 students taking AP courses in high school, they did not get higher grades as Freshmen in college. However, those receiving a 4 or 5 on AP Exams did score higher on SAT exams, etc. 5. Can we expect to see higher performance, once Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS) trickle through the system? I think strong rudiments must start early in a creative fashion. Honed teaching that responds to varied learning needs must allow students to continue to build on their knowledge and opportunity base that prepares them for AP and Dual College Credit courses and more! I also think we need to define a strategy for helping to encourage students who don't do well on the AP Exams to still be prepared to take these classes in college and not shun these subjects. Brenda Martin is NeKY PTA District President and National PTA Social Media Ambassador. Follow @Bdrumartin on Twitter.


Updates and data on Kentucky education!