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February 10, 2010
Oregon Continues to Expand Access & Performance in AP Programs
SALEM – Oregon students continue to make gains in securing Advanced Placement credit State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo noted today with the release of College Board’s sixth annual Advanced Placement Report to the Nation report. The percentage of the last year’s graduating class that achieved an AP Exam grade of 3 or better rose a tenth of percent to 13.2% ¬¬¬ up from 8.3% in Oregon’s 2004 graduating class. The increase ranks Oregon as 11th in the nation for increased AP participation and performance over the past five years. An AP exam score of 3 or higher is considered predictive of college success and recognized by most colleges for credit.
“It's important that Oregon continue to make gains in preparing our students for success in college and beyond,” said Superintendent Castillo. “With greater participation in AP and other accelerated coursework, we must now build on that success to identify the gaps where particular groups of students continue to lag behind their peers. Our goal must be to extend to all students the opportunity to complete coursework that prepares them to achieve in higher education.”
Although more Oregon minority high school graduates have been taking AP exams in recent years, these participation rates continue to lag behind the proportion to which these groups comprise the overall graduating class. The percentage of Oregon AP test takes who were Hispanic rose to 7.1% in 2009 from 3.5% in 2004 – Hispanics were 12% of the 2009 Oregon graduating class. African Americans comprised 1.4% of AP exam test takers in 2009, up from 1.0% in 2004 – but still lower than the 2.2% of 2009’s graduating class that was African American.
"We must ensure that we are identifying gaps in achievement and ensuring every child has the opportunity to prepare for higher education,” said Castillo. “I encourage every parent and student across the state to explore local resources that will help them take college preparedness evaluations for free or at greatly reduced cost, as well as identify the right coursework to prepare for education beyond high school.”
AP Potential is a free service available to districts through College Board to help boost minority participation. The program uses PSAT data to predict AP performance. This year, 47,228 Oregon students took the PSAT.
The Oregon Department of Education offers supplemental funding to districts to pay for AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations through the AP Test Fee Program through grants from the USDOE. In 2008-2009, the program paid for 3,451 exams (2,860 AP exams and 591 IB exams).
The full AP Report to the Nation is online at http://www.collegeboard.com
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