Monday, August 19, 2013
AP students at many schools struggle
...A Baltimore Sun analysis of test scores showed a troubling discrepancy between grades for AP course work and scores on the exams. In at least 19 high schools throughout the Baltimore region, more than half of the students who earned an A or B in an AP class failed the exam.
Failure rates of 75 percent on the exam were common at Woodlawn and other Maryland schools with large numbers of minority and low-income students. For the 2011-2012 school year, the most recent available data, about 40 percent of students who took an AP test in the nation failed. But nearly 75 percent of African-American students nationwide failed, and the pass rates for Latinos and low-income students are far below those for whites and Asians.
By expanding the reach of Advanced Placement, the College Board, which administers the program, has created a de facto national curriculum for high achievers, and Maryland is the leading participant in the U.S. More than half of the state's public school graduates now take an AP class and nearly 30 percent have passed at least one exam, the highest rate in the country. In that sense, Maryland schools have become a laboratory for the nation.
Despite that glowing record, a close look at the data shows that students at many schools struggle.
Trevor Packer, head of AP for the College Board, acknowledges that the program is being misused in some schools, with students taking classes before they are ready. For instance, he said, 20,000 African-American students in Maryland took AP exams last year, but the College Board predicted that only 2,000 had a strong chance of passing because of scores on other tests...
Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-advanced-placement-classes-20130817,0,6301932.story#ixzz2cQjGlWDF